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Childhood Injuries During COVID-19

covidAs families spend more time quarantining at home during the coronavirus pandemic in Rhode Island and beyond, there is no doubt stress levels have hit a high for everyone, including parents. The demands are constant and it’s not an easy feat for parents to work from home, especially with young children, and simultaneously provide proper supervision for a child or multiple children, work, cook, clean, help with online schooling, and keep up with the news about the latest virus precautions. As a result, doctors expect more childhood injuries to occur during the coronavirus pandemic amidst stay at home orders. As a personal injury lawyer in Rhode Island, Attorney David Tapalian knows that an injury to a child can be particularly scary during normal times, but even more so now during the Covid-19 outbreak. Many are fearful of visiting the emergency room or walk-in medical clinic for fear of leaving with germs worse than the injury they came in for. As a parent himself, Attorney Tapalian understands and empathizes with this predicament, and there may be alternative options to visiting a doctor’s office with your child during this precarious time.

Why are More Kids Getting Hurt During the Coronavirus Outbreak?

One of the main reasons more kids are getting injured at home during the pandemic is a lack of supervision. Parents are busy working from home, or at an essential job outside the home, stressed out, and short of childcare options. Naturally, kids are curious and bored with the lack of normal everyday activities, lack of sports, school, and play dates. Due to the fear of germs during the virus outbreak, there are more cleaning supplies and chemicals around the house, like bleach, and therefore, young children are at a higher risk than usual for accidental poisoning from household chemicals. As the weather warms up, kids of all ages are out riding bikes and bicycle accidents in Rhode Island are unfortunately a side effect of some of these trips. As a Rhode Island personal injury attorney, David has witnessed a number of bike accidents that have occurred over the past few months. Adults and children alike have more time to spend outdoors cycling, which is positive, but the mistake of choosing not to wear a helmet, forgetting to wear a helmet, or wearing an ill-fitting helmet, can be deadly. If a child sets out on a bike ride, skateboard, or scooter without a helmet, the results can be tragic.

One parent, whose son fell off a scooter injuring his hand, chose to delay going to the doctor’s office for fear of coronavirus germs. After bandaging the hand and waiting a painful six hours, she decided the injury warranted a trip to the pediatrician. The pediatrician quickly diagnosed the boy with a broken hand and referred him to an orthopedic specialist. Broken bones and head injuries can occur in a bike accident or scooter crash, but may also just as easily occur around the home. Without adequate supervision, toddlers are more likely to take a fall down a set of stairs, injuring their head or breaking bones. With so much unstructured time, climbing indoors and outdoors, and roughhousing with siblings, there are myriad ways children can experience a dangerous fall or bumps and bruises. As a personal injury attorney in Rhode Island, David has seen injuries of all sorts result from seemingly simple and routine daily play among children.

Dog bites to children are another concern to be wary of with people spending more time at home. A child may unknowingly tease or provoke a normally docile dog causing it to bite or attack. Even a strange sound can alarm a dog upsetting them and possibly causing them to injure an unaware child or family member. Dog bites are a common childhood injury and parents and caretakers should always be aware.

What to Do if Your Child is Hurt or Injured During the Pandemic

Telemedicine’s popularity has jumped exponentially over the past months. The use of telemedicine, or telehealth, has provided doctors and healthcare workers a beneficial way to help patients from a safe distance, using technology such as Facetime. Many healthcare providers and doctors in Rhode Island are taking advantage of this useful method to assist patients without an office visit, as we mentioned in a recent Rhode Island Accident Lawyer Blog. If your child is hurt and you are not sure if the injury warrants a visit to the pediatrician, contact the pediatrician’s office and, via telemedicine, they may be able to give you home care instructions so you are able to provide care for your child at home without visiting a doctor’s office, or if the injury or illness is deemed serious enough, advise you to continue on to the ER for immediate treatment. If you must visit the ER, take all precautions you can to protect your child and yourself. Wear masks, gloves, use hand sanitizer, and social distance as much as possible while still caring for your injured child. If the injuries are serious, such as a head injury due to a fall down the stairs or a car accident, they will likely require a visit to the emergency room. As a Rhode Island personal injury lawyer, Attorney Tapalian advises seeking medical advice immediately after any type of injury to a child. Babies and young children in particular can experience serious complications if medical advice or treatment is delayed.

Preventing Injury

It seems obvious to say that supervision is the number one way to prevent injury to children. It’s important to ensure proper childproofing of stairs, cabinets or drawers containing chemicals or medicines, and of course, guns.  Adults working from home may need to take turns supervising, or share the responsibility with a responsible older sibling. If the caregiver is alone and must attend a Zoom meeting or phone call for work, that may be a time for the child to sit next to the parent and don headphones to watch a movie on the iPad where they can be safely supervised.

Contact a RI Personal Injury Lawyer at Tapalian Law  

Parents and caregivers do their best and it’s not easy during these stressful times. Despite the best intentions, injuries still occur. If you, or your child, is injured in a car accident in Rhode Island, a slip and fall at home, or another type of accident, Injury Attorney David Tapalian is still here to help you with all of your personal injury needs in RI and MA.  We are currently utilizing methods such as Facetime and Zoom to safely communicate with clients and are available at any time to discuss your questions or concerns. We are also available via email, text, or phone, to best suit your needs. Contact us at 401-552-5000 for a free consultation, or reach us with our easy, online form. Tapalian Law will contact you right away to discuss how we can help you.

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