Choking Hazards and Children
Choking hazards come as a result of poorly labelled products, substandard materials, and the production of miniature toys and gadgets. The rates of choking are higher among children under one year, according to studies. From small coins and broken pieces of toys, the risks are higher all the more in the presence of defective products. Children, although having ingested a choking material, may still be able to speak, cough and breathe, if their airway is only partially blocked. The following are symptoms of a partially blocked airway:
- Inability to talk in complete sentences or at full volume
- Unusual breathing sounds, such as wheezing or whistling
- Clutching at the throat
- Frantic coughing
- Panicked and distressed behavior
- Red face
- Watery eyes
If the airway becomes completely blocked, the following symptoms can occur:
- Clutching at the throat
- Red face at first, turning pale and then blue due to lack of oxygen
- Panicked and distressed behavior, including vigorous attempts to breathe
- Unconsciousness and collapse
- Watery eyes
If your child has suffered from choking related injuries, please contact a personal injury lawyer immediately.
First Aid for Choking Victims
What do you do when a person chokes? First check for breathing. Chances are, if the person is still able to breathe, such as the case in a partially blocked airway, the person can still speak and cough. Try to encourage the person to cough, as this may force the material out of the person’s throat.
At first, do not hit the person’s back. The throat is a complex structure. Patting hard on the person’s back may cause the material to move to a more dangerous position or block other pathways, which can stop breathing.
See if the person’s breathing improves. If it does not, try to have the person cough. However, if breathing does not improve, call 911 immediately.
If the person is unable to breathe, place his/her head by your lap so the head is lower than the chest. At this point, give the person four sharp taps on the back, between the shoulder blades. This force may help dislodge the object.
In all things, prevention is key. The following are some recommendations to prevent the occurrence of choking:
- Be careful with foods that can be broken down into hard, smaller pieces such as carrots, celery sticks and apples. These should be grated, cooked or smashed instead, to avoid being stuck in the throat while eating.
- Meat should be cut into smaller pieces and skin removed, if possible.
- Be careful with hard candy such as lollipops, popcorn, nuts and corn chips.
- Keep away toys that have small, breakable parts that a child can swallow
- Check around the house to see any loose or scattered materials that the child can pick up and swallow, for disposal. These include coins, pen caps, and parts of broken toys.
Choking hazard claims are a specific sub-category of product liability lawsuits. Product liability law in the United States has evolved to a point where manufacturers of toys and other products- in some cases, the distributors and sellers of these products, are required to warn consumers of the potential choking hazards associated with the product’s use. If a person chokes on a product that is not appropriately labeled, he/she has the right to file a lawsuit to recover damages for any injuries sustained. A person has the right, as well, to file a suit for injuries even if the product was labeled appropriately but caused the injury.
Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP
When using a product in the manner in which it was intended to be used and you or your child chokes on it and sustain injuries, you have the right to seek legal representation for damages incurred from resulting injury. Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP is a leading product safety law firm representing consumers in Dallas, Texas. Our Dallas personal injury lawyers regularly handle choking injuries cases. If you or a family member have been injured due to choking caused by a product, you may be entitled to compensation for injuries sustained by filing a product liability lawsuit with us.
Contact a Dallas Injury Lawyer Today
When you need a lawyer who will exhaustively investigate a choking injury and make sure that every responsible party is held into account, contact Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP at (214) 231-0555 and our attorneys will be happy to represent you in your case.