Some Product-Related Injuries Increased During the Pandemic
April 8, 2021
A recent Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) report illustrates how certain types of consumer products can affect severe injury rates, like those that require hospital emergency room treatment. The report has several key findings and is the first of its kind to highlight some of the new injury trends that appear to have developed during the ongoing pandemic.
The CPSC has the job of protecting Americans by reducing the risk of injury and death from consumer products. The agency does this in a few main ways: by creating voluntary industry standards, by issuing and enforcing said standards through penalties, alerts, and recalls, and by banning products that remain unreasonably unsafe regardless of industry standards. Despite the CPSC’s efforts to protect consumers from preventable injuries, some products are simply more dangerous than others. The agency’s report not only shows which types of products carry big time hazards, but also documents the stark jump in ER visits for certain product-related injuries that occurred between March and September of last year.
The Report’s Findings
Although general emergency room treatments for product-related injuries decreased by nearly 25% overall, treatments for severe product-related injuries only decreased by 1%. That said, the report observed several large increases in the number of ER-treated injuries related to particular product types, such as:
- There was a 56% increase in emergency medical treatments for firework and flare-related injuries across all age groups
- People of all ages experienced 39% more emergency room treatments for injuries associated with all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), mopeds and minibikes
- ER-treated injuries related to button batteries rose by 93% for children between the ages of 5 and 9-years-old
- There was a marked rise in injuries related to cleaning agents (84%), and a 60% increase in injuries related to soaps and detergents
- There was a 21% increase in severe bicycle-related injuries for individuals between the ages of 40 and 70-years-old and a 39% increase for adults over 70-years-old
The report uncovered a bit of good news, as well. For example, sports-related decreased by as much as 81%. Many sports-related injuries occur at schools, so with the majority of American youth still learning remotely or on a hiatus from extracurricular activities like team and contact sports, the decrease comes as no surprise.
Tips for Preventing Severe Product-Related Injuries
While manufacturers, distributors, and sellers have the duty to produce or sell safe products that do not endanger consumers, far too often they disregard their legal and moral obligations and instead put making a profit over the safety of workers and loved ones. If a product causes an injury due to an unsafe design, a manufacturing defect, or the failure to provide proper instructions or warnings, the victim can file a products liability lawsuit. In some cases, however, even products that are in compliance with federal safety and manufacturing standards still carry inherent risks. For example, cleaning products are poisonous when they are ingested. Because cleaning agents carry these inherent poison risks, it is critical to keep them stored in their original packaging and to lock them up and away from younger children.
Here are just a few more tips from the CPSC on steps consumers can take to guard against preventable product-related injuries:
- Always wear a helmet when riding a scooter, skateboard or hoverboard. Do not ride in the street
- Keep all products that contain small batteries, such as TV remotes, away from children. Make sure that battery compartments on children’s toys are secured properly and not damaged
- Wear a CPSC-compliant bicycle helmet when riding a bicycle. The label will read: “Complies with U.S. CPSC Safety Standards for Bicycle Helmets”
- Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks or sparklers
If you or a loved one was injured from a defective or mislabeled product, someone at our firm can help. To learn more about filing a products liability claim, contact a representative online now.
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