Study: Injuries Caused By Baby Products on the Rise

A new study found that a child is treated for a nursery-product related injury every eight minutes.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.

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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%.

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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.”


3 thoughts on “Study: Injuries Caused By Baby Products on the Rise”

  1. As a veteran mom of 8 and now Mamie of 3, and a family life educator, I found this article to be lacking any helpful content. It was as if the author read only the abstract of the study, and regurgitated that rather than reading the entire study and reporting the conclusions and action items. The article left moms feeling scared of poorly named hazards (carriers) and without concrete steps to take.

    The take-away from the study:
    1. Young babies are top-heavy; their large heads are their biggest injury liability. Parents must always be aware of this fact and constantly compensate for it.
    2. Car seats are for protecting a child in the case of a car accident, period. They should not even come with handles as every injury reported involving a carrier was a parent using it wrong. Use it to secure a child in a moving vehicle only, nothing else. And absolutely never for a sleeping solution in a home.
    3. You will injure yourself AND your baby if you fall while carrying your baby. So keep your floor uncluttered, be careful on stairs, and carry baby and other items in separate trips on stairs. I.e., take the baby down, put him in a safe place, then go back up for the laundry basket, even if you really think you can carry both at the same time.
    4. The most ED visits followed putting a child down in a crib. The crib manufacturers have not significantly changed their product in a hundred years, but the lobby still has the crib as the gold standard for place to most safely put your baby. The mattress, the bars, the bedding all contribute. But the number one problem is the lack of supervision.

    I know from personal experience that moms multitask all day long- but injuries are most prone to happen while multitasking. We must have a safe place to put baby down regularly, too. I am a personal believer in the destructive power of gravity on babies, so when in doubt, I choose the floor. I don’t like bars on cribs, why don’t they make them from woven material? Can we come up with a better design for sleeping babies?

    And be careful out there, folks.

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