A very common injury to minors and children that most Florida parents do not even consider occurs when children’s clothing catches on fire, causing burn injuries. Clothing can burn when it comes into contact with high heat or an open flame. Sometimes, even a spark can cause clothes to burn. Children and adults can come into contact with cigarettes, candles, space heaters, grills, and flammable liquids, all of which can cause clothes to go up in flames. Children will sometimes play with matches and accidentally light their clothes on fire.
Children are especially vulnerable to injuries from flammable clothes because their clothing is often made of soft, thin fabric that easily burns – flannel and cotton. Unlike adults, children who find that their clothes are on fire may panic and might not know to “stop, drop, and roll.” Plus, children’s clothing tends to have a much smaller surface area, which means that flame can envelop the clothes – and the children – very quickly.
In some cases, flammable children’s clothing is a products liability issue. The Consumer Product Safety Commission oversees fabric flammability regulations. There are strict U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission standards under the Flammable Fabrics Act that are meant to protect consumers from injuries caused by flammable clothing. However, not every imported fabric or item of clothing meets the standards.
The Flammable Fabrics Act prevents dangerously flammable clothing from being imported or sold. The Consumer Products Safety Commission runs tests to determine the safety of various clothing items and fabrics and recalls any clothing that fails a flammability test. Children’s sleepwear and mattresses and mattress pads have a stricter test they must pass in order to gain approval by the Consumer Products Safety Commission. However, the Consumer Products Safety Commission is not always able to test all products in time and injuries still can result.
Parents can keep their children safe by examining fabrics and clothing for safety. Read the label – some fabrics are clearly marked as being tested. Also, select snugger fitting clothing for children. It is less likely to go up in flame so fast. Children three and older can be taught to stop, drop, and roll. Practice with children so that they know what to do. The best prevention, of course, is to make sure that children are not at risk of burn injuries. Keep flammable liquids, matches, and lighters well out of children’s reach and supervise children to ensure that they do not play with fire. Check space heaters and other appliances to ensure that they are in good shape and do not give off too much heat. Make sure that heaters and other household appliances have not been recalled due to fire hazard. Any recalled products should be returned to the store at once.
If your child has been injured due to a defective product, you will need help paying for medical bills. Children who have sustained a burn injury, especially, often need extensive cosmetic procedures. Since children are still growing, these procedures may need to be repeated more than once. Unfortunately, even if you have excellent medical coverage, your insurance provider likely does not cover these procedures. Burn injuries can leave your child with scars and even tissue damage – not to mention fears and emotional upset. A good Florida attorney can ensure that you get the compensation you are entitled to under the law – compensation that can give you the resources to help your child. To speak to a qualified Florida lawyer at no cost and with no obligation, call 1- 800-535-2962 (1 800 5 FLAXMAN).