A new study found that a child is treated for a nursery-product related injury every eight minutes in the U.S. That’s about 66,000 kids per year, and the number is on the rise.
Are the baby products you use as safe as you think? Ironically, some of the very products that are meant to help parents raise their babies and young children are now being blamed for a significant number of injuries in children under the age of three.
The study was published in this month’s Pediatrics journal. Researchers took a look at hospital emergency room records from 1991 to 2011 and found that there were nearly 1.4 million injuries in children under the age of three that were related to nursery products.
Although there was nearly a 34% drop in the numbers between 1991 and 2003 due to a big decline in the number of baby walker/jumper/exerciser-related injuries, the numbers since climbed by nearly 24%, between 2003 and 2011 due to an increase in concussions and closed head injuries.
Baby carriers are associated with more than half of the injuries in babies under six months old and with the most number of injuries overall at nearly 20%. This is followed closely by cribs and mattress-related injuries at nearly 19%. Strollers and carriages were linked to almost 17% of injuries, and walker/jumper/exercisers account for just over 16%.
The most common area to be injured was the head and neck region, and usually because of a fall. About 90% or all injuries occurred at home.
More than half of the injuries occurred during a baby’s first year, with the largest proportion of injuries overall occurring between the age of six and 11 months.
The study was conducted by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
The study’s senior author and director of the center, Dr. Gary Smith, said: “We have achieved great success in preventing baby walker-related injuries by improving the design of the product and instituting better safety standards” he said. “We now need to aggressively apply this approach to other nursery products. It is unacceptable that we are still seeing so many injuries to young children from these products.”