Pet access doors, or doggie doors, are hidden hazards in residential homes and on too many occasions have lead directly to the tragic injury or death of a child. Many parents and caregivers do not appreciate the risk associated with use of a pet door, and how young children can drown, become lost, wander into streets, or otherwise become seriously injured or killed after exiting a home through a pet door.
The size of the opening can seem deceptively small, especially in pet doors intended for smaller pets. In fact, a survey of the industry reveals that a size “medium” pet door typically has an opening measuring 8 x 10 inches, which is just smaller than a standard sheet of paper. These doors are recommended by manufacturers for use with pets up to 40 pounds. A 95th percentile, three-year-old male child weighs only 38 pounds, and its been shown a child of this size can easily pass through this opening and into danger.
Drowning is the second leading cause of death of children between ages 1 and 4, and it is the most widely reported danger associated with children exiting pet doors. A simple warning on the door would alert the owner, installer, family, and caregivers to the potential for children to get out through the doggie door, but unfortunately the majority of manufacturers in the pet door industry have chosen not to take this very simple, inexpensive step.
As Pet Access Door Accident attorneys we can help
If you suspect a child was injured or killed as a result of exit through a doggie door, contact us for a free evaluation of your case. As Pet Access Door lawyers we have extensive experience in litigating cases involving consumer product defects, and stand ready to bring our knowledge and expertise to bear for families tragically affected by Pet Access Door accidents.
Pet Door Access Incidents that have been reported
Close to 100 incidents have been reported around the country. The fear is that many more have gone unrecognized due to the lack of standardized reporting for this very real issue. Click here to see a full listing of the reported incidents in pdf format. If you know of an incident not listed or reported please contact us to help us gain more accurate data, create public awareness, and spur industry change.
Map of Pet Access Door Accidents
The map below depicts drownings and near-drownings across the country, with several warm climate states reporting an even greater concentration of incidents. In the face of all these events it is critical that manufacturers change these products to make them safer for public.
View Pet Door Incidents in a larger map