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Former dentist makes court appearance in brain damage case

A former dentist who was charged with causing brain damage to a 4-year-old patient made an appearance in court to end the month of July. The incident dates back to January of 2016 and resulted in brain damage to the child that doctors said cannot be repaired. The former dentist made her first court appearance in the case at the end of July. A Harris County grand jury indicted the former dentist on July 24 for knowingly and intentionally causing injury to the child by omission. It is a felony charge, which comes after the former dentist failed to seek adequate medical attention for the patient. The former dentist turned herself into authorities in Montgomery County not long after the indictment was announced. As a condition of bail, which the former dentist posted, she is not allowed to consult or practice dentistry. She has been accused of over-sedating the 4-year-old, who was in the office to have a tooth pulled. The former dentist had her license to practice dentistry revoked back in November. The child has been confined to a wheelchair since the appointment in January of 2016. She cannot respond to instructions, nor can she walk or talk. The girl suffered a seizure and it took four hours for anyone to seek emergency medical care for the child. The former dentist faces life in prison if she is convicted of the felony charge. Injuries to children can be devastating for not only the child, but also the entire family. Therapy, rehabilitation and medical costs can mount quickly. Speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney in Waco can alleviate some of the stress associated with such a tragic injury. Source: Houston Patch, “Ex-Dentist Charged With Causing Brain Damage To 4-Year Old Patient Appears In Court,” Bryan Kirk, July 31, 2017

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4 reasons parents worry so often about their kids getting hurt

You’re a parent, and you know what it’s like to worry. It never leaves you. Your friend who watched the kids all day says she’ll have them home by 6 o’clock. At 6:01, you’re already concerned. By 6:10, you’re imagining that they must have been in a car accident on the way over. By 6:20, you’re calling local hospitals. Then your friend pulls into the driveway. They were having fun and lost track of time. You act like it’s no big deal, but it is. You worry about injuries at school, injuries in the car and injuries on the bus. You worry about friends and games and playgrounds. If you’ve ever wondered why you do this, below are four interesting facts that can shed some light on it. 1. The lack of control is terrifying People like to be in control. Your kids are in far less danger when they’re flying in an airplane than when you’re driving them to school in your car, but you feel far better in the car because you’re in control. It’s a false sense of security. 2. Man-made issues seem more dangerous We have a sense that natural risks — too much sun leading to skin cancer — aren’t as frightening as man-made risks. You’re more worried about what other people are going to do, mistakes drivers are going to make or negligence from the staff at school. These things seem inherently more dangerous to your child. 3. A new risk always seems worse For instance, your child has always lived with the threat of the flu. It takes lives every year. You probably don’t think of it very much, but when there is a new disease you’ve never heard of, it seems vastly worse. It doesn’t matter that the old risks are still there or that the new risk doesn’t impact as many people. 4. The media causes a panic When the media picks up a trend, it’s in every story. That makes you worry, even though the problem isn’t technically worse. For instance, drunk drivers are a threat on the roads. You’ve always known that, but then there are three drunk driving accidents near you. In one, a child on a bike is hit and injured. Last year, your child started riding his or her bike everywhere — it was fun and exciting for the whole family. Suddenly, even though the odds of that accident happening were the same last year, you’re deathly afraid to let your child ride. Nothing changed, statistically, but the media showed you the danger. After an injury There certainly are risks to your children, and they face them at school, at home and in the car. The key is not to worry constantly. Instead, just focus on being safe when you can and knowing exactly what to do if your child does get hurt.

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Don’t let your child’s day care or school off for these injuries

Many parents would rather stay and home and take care of their children, but they cannot financially afford to do so. This is why moms and dads entrust the care of their children of skilled caregivers such as day care workers. Some parents live to regret this decision though, especially when their children get hurt. There are a few common injuries that seem to happen more than others at day cares. Falling objects Day care workers don’t just watch your child, but instead multiple ones. This is often when accidents occur. One of the more common ways in which kids get hurt while in a child care setting is by having heavy objects fall on them. Books, toys, appliances and furniture are all items that can tip over and injure your child. Day care and school administrators can minimize the risk of such incidents happening is by tethering furniture to the wall. Child care facilities can also benefit from keeping any heavy objects on lower shelves. This will prevent it from falling on top of a child if they go to grab for it. Playground accidents Another leading cause of child injuries is playground accidents. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data shows that as many as 200,000 youths are seen in emergency rooms each year due to being hurt on playgrounds. Your child’s school can greatly reduce your son’s or daughter’s risk of getting hurt by regularly inspecting their playground equipment for any potential hazards such as sharp edges or loose screws. It can also be helpful for caregivers to inspect the ground in and around the play area for any dangerous debris like glass. Inspecting the playground equipment is only one-half of the precautionary measures that teachers and child care workers should take though. Nothing replaces their constant supervision of the children entrusted to their care. All it takes is one second for someone to get hurt. If school administrators were to babyproof their premises just as parents do with their Waco homes, this could help curb many of the injuring incidents involving our kids here in Texas. Most day care or school injuries involving young kids happen because caregivers provide children with adequate supervision. If your son or daughter has been hurt at school due to someone else’s negligence, then a child injury attorney can advise you of how to put administrative law and due process to work for you in your case.

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What are ways unattended children get hurt?

Data published by the Cooperative Extension of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) captures how the leading cause of disability or death among young children are injuries. How they become hurt varies depending on a child’s age. Many of their injuries are completely preventable. The USDA’s data shows that most children’s accidents occur because the kids involved were inadequately supervised by their adult caregivers. Those same statistics show that school-aged kids are at a particularly high risk of being struck by a car while crossing the street. Preschoolers are particularly susceptible to drowning. Toddlers are vulnerable to being poisoned. Playgrounds are particularly dangerous for children. Many kids get injured at them because they wander beyond the safe area where they should play. The surfaces that surround these areas also often aren’t as soft as they should be to adequately cushion a child’s fall. Children also get hurt at playgrounds because they’re allowed to use equipment that’s not age-appropriate for them. Children often drown because they’re left unattended in or around pools or bodies of water. Many caregivers do this because they don’t think that they can drown in such shallow water or in the short time that it will take them to complete a certain task. Children are attracted to bodies of water that have toys left in them. They can easily drown in just a few inches of water. Many parents think that their child is safe indoors, but that’s not necessarily the case. There are many potentially deadly hazards inside as well. Children tend to want to open up cabinets. They may encounter cleaning products and medications in your bathroom or kitchen when they do so. Kids also have the potential of choking on small objects or being cut by breakable ones if left unattended. Sharp-edged or unanchored furniture can injure them. Staircases or open balconies can also be dangerous if a child gains access to them. We as parents can teach our kids the difference between right and wrong. We can’t expect them to know what’s the best option every time though. If your son or daughter’s caregiver’s negligence resulted in them getting hurt, then a child injury attorney in Waco can advise you of your right to recover the costs for any injury-related expenses that you’ve amassed here in Texas.

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7 safety issues in a day care

You work full time, so the easiest way for you to make sure your child is safe and happy is to use a day care center. It’s easy to drop the child off on the way to work and pick him or her back up on the way home. But is your child really safe and happy? It’s important to do your research and consider everything carefully. Below are seven common safety issues in day care centers that could lead to injuries or even death. Not enough supervision. Adults either do not pay enough attention or there are not enough adults on staff to watch all of the kids. Not enough training. It’s just assumed that the staff can care for kids with very little experience. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS. Some reports indicate that this is actually growing more common in child care facilities, even though it’s been trending down in homes. Medication mistakes. Kids aren’t given medicine on time, are given the wrong amount or the medications needed by two children are accidentally switched. Recalled products. The center may have bought dressers or cribs that were then recalled, for instance, exposing the kids to constant danger if the owner doesn’t replace them. Toxic substances. Cleaning products aren’t locked up, for example, or there is lead paint on the walls. No plans for an emergency. What happens if there is a fire or a child is injured? If the care providers aren’t sure when there is not an active emergency, it could spell disaster if one happens. Now, day care can be safe and useful. It’s just important to understand the risks, research the facility and know your legal rights if your child gets hurt. Source: Care, “10 Day Care Safety Issues,” Ilene Jacobs, accessed Dec. 07, 2017

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What legal steps can you take if your child is being bullied?

Many of us experienced some sort of bullying when we were kids. It was, unfortunately, part of the school experience, particularly for kids who were perceived to be “different” in some way from most of their classmates. Today, bullying extends past the halls and playgrounds of schools. It follows kids home via cyberbullying. Social media, texting and phone calls have been used to torment young people, sometimes to the point where they’ve taken their own lives. States have taken notice of the damage done by bullying and have enacted anti-bullying laws. Although there is no federal law against bullying currently, there are nondiscrimination and civil rights laws at the federal level that mandate schools to take action against some kinds of bullying — for example if the victim of the bullying is gay, transgender or disabled. State anti-bullying laws define bullying in different ways. Here in Texas, it includes any verbal, written or physical act that harms a student and/or his or her property or that creates a threatening, abusive or intimidating educational environment. Most state anti-bullying laws detail behaviors such as threats, harassment, teasing, intimidation and public humiliation as well as physical violence and theft. Schools and their staff members are often provided with guidance under the law for dealing with bullying. If your child has been bullied at school and you don’t believe that staff members have taken adequate steps to put an end to it, you may be able to hold the school district as well as specific individuals liable. If the bullying has continued outside of the school, such as via social media, texting or even at your home, you may be able to hold the parents of the perpetrator(s) liable, particularly if a child has been physically injured or injured him/herself as a result. An experienced Texas personal injury can provide guidance on your options. Source: FindLaw, “Specific State Laws Against Bullying,” accessed March 24, 2017

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Do children heal faster than adults?

As a parent, you often worry about your child getting hurt, and you do everything in your power to prevent it. One thing you may be forgetting, though, is that injuries are often not as bad for children as they are for adults. Kids really do heal faster in many cases. For one thing, children’s bodies are not as rigid and frail as adults’ bodies. They have more of an “elastic” nature to them. They can stretch and twist in ways that would mean serious tears and injuries for adults. On top of that, young bodies are always growing. Bodily resources and energy are constantly being used to create bone and muscle tissue. Organs are growing and developing. Since the body is always engaged in this process anyway, healing also happens faster. Tissue can be repaired and reconstructed more effectively than it can in adults, who have not been truly growing in years or decades. Finally, many children are in better physical shape than adults. With this physical fitness comes more efficient cardiovascular systems. As blood moves easily to areas on the body that were hurt, healing happens quickly. Adults who are no longer in as good of shape may not see the same benefits; healing still happens, but the body takes longer to mend broken parts. Of course, this does not mean your child will not endure significant pain and suffering, that he or she will recover quickly from any injury or that you will not see some significant medical bills along the way. When your child gets injured, make sure you know about all of your legal options. Source: Mom Steam, “Child’s Ability To Heal Quickly From Sports Injuries: A Mixed Blessing?,” Keith J. Cronin, accessed April 18, 2018

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Key statistics about children and medical malpractice

Medical malpractice can lead to serious injuries and fatalities, and children can be victimized by it as well as adults. It’s important for parents to be aware that this happens and that they have legal options when it does. These cases can be complex because children are often unaware of what happened, making it all the more important for parents to be vigilant. To get a better understanding of these cases, one study looked at 167 medical malpractice claims, out of 960 total, that involved children. These are a few of the key facts from the study: Most of them were male, at 64.1 percent. The majority of the kids who were victims were between 6 years old and 12 years old. Criminal lawsuits were also connected to 63.5 percent of the medical malpractice claims. 59.3 percent of the children were suffering from disease. 31.7 percent were suffering after accidents. 63.5 percent of the cases happened in state hospitals. 58.7 percent of the cases were non-surgical in nature. Roughly 33 percent of the children had infections. 57.5 percent of the children passed away from their injuries or ailments. In 59.3 percent of the fatal cases, an autopsy was carried out. Fault was placed on the medical staff in 46.1 percent of the cases. Out of 19 of the children who did get an autopsy, 13 of them (68 percent) showed conflicts in the causes of death that were reported prior to the autopsy and the causes of death that were reported after it was carried out. Has your child been injured in any way due to medical malpractice? If so, be sure you know what legal steps you should take. Source: NCBI, “Medical malpractice claims involving children,” MH Ozdemir, accessed Jan. 12, 2018

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What actually constitutes bullying?

While many people throw around the word “bullying,” few have a clear understanding of what exactly entails. In short, it’s any type of undesired, aggressive action taken by a child against another one. Any power imbalance between peers such as this may be deemed as bullying, especially if it’s repeatedly enforced. Such treatment can leave a lasting impact on an individual’s life. A study conducted by the Bureau of Justice and the National Center for Educational Statistics in 2017 revealed that 20% all of all American students between the ages of 12 and 18 had experienced bullying. Another report published that same year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that 19% of all students in grades 9-12 were bullied at school in the year before their survey was conducted. According to the federal website stopbullying.gov, there are three primary types of bullying that individuals may engage in. Physical bullying involves a person’s private possessions or their self being hurt. Pushing, tripping, spitting, pinching, hitting and kicking are all considered to be examples of this. Anyone who has rude hand gestures used against them may have been physically bullied. Anyone who has their belongings broken or taken may be deemed to have been as well. Verbal bullying can take on many different forms. Name-calling, inappropriate sexual comments, taunting, teasing or threats of harm are all examples of this. Social bullying is another concern as it can affect a child’s relationships and reputation. Anyone who tells someone else who to be friends with or purposely excludes someone else from an activity may have engaged in social bullying. Anyone who embarrasses another person in public or spreads rumors may be deemed to have done this as well. Bullying of any type can happen on the playground, during class, at lunch, after school and virtually any other time during the school year. It can affect a child’s development and their academic performance and in many other aspects of their lives. You must protect your child now! A child injury attorney can tell you about a Waco school’s responsibility to stop any bullying that they witness. They can also advise you of your rights to sue them if they failed to take the necessary steps that are required of them here in Texas to put an end to such ill-treatment of your child.

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How often do caregivers improperly restrain kids in cars?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data shows that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of childhood fatalities here in the United States. There were an estimated 116,000 children age 12 or younger that were injured in car crashes in 2017. A total of 675 children died in similar incidents that same year. Many of these crashes can be blamed on child victims not being properly restrained. At least 49% of the 8- to 12-year-old children who lost their lives in car crashes in 2017 weren’t wearing seat belts when they happened. That same CDC data shows that 22% of those children age 4 and under who died were also unrestrained. Another 36% of those kids between the ages of 4 and 7 were not buckled up when their caregiver was involved in a crash. That same data reveals some alarming information about car and booster seat use. CDC researchers determined that 46% of the children who died in 2017 did so, in part, due to their improper car or booster seat use. The CDC’s statistics show that car seats were misused nearly three times more often than booster seats that year. CDC data shows that Hispanic and black children are more likely to be improperly restrained over their white counterparts. The percentage of white children who were not buckled up was found to be approximately 26%, whereas the percentage of Hispanic and black children who were not buckled up was 46% and 45%, respectively. The CDC warns that parents could stand to re-educate themselves about the different stages at which they should change from having a rear-facing car seat to a forward-facing one. Moms and dads could benefit from learning when it’s appropriate to start letting their child ride in a booster seat and when they can allow them to start using a safety belt alone instead. Many parents entrust the care of their child to a day care worker or teacher so that they can go to work each day. Your son or daughter’s caregiver is obliged to know about Texas laws and the type of restraint that children need when being transported from one location to the next. An attorney can advise you what type of legal action that you may be able to take in your Waco case if your son or daughter has been hurt due to their caregiver’s negligence.

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