Over 66,000 children below the age of 3 go to the emergency room each year for accidents involving nursery products, such as baby carriers, cribs and strollers, according to a new study.
The study, which was published in the journal “Pediatrics” this week, analyzed emergency room visits in the United States over a 21-year period, from January 1991 through December 2011. Researchers found that nearly 1.4 million children younger than 3 years-old were treated for nursery-product related injuries within this period, averaging 66,278 injuries per year or about one every eight minutes.
More than a half of all injuries occurred during the child’s first year of life, and a majority of all injuries occurred at home. Most common injuries involved baby carriers, cribs or mattresses, strollers or carriages and baby walkers. About 81 percent of the incidents affected the child’s head, neck or face, according to the study.
Researchers found the annual rate injury rate declined significantly — by almost 34 percent — from 1991 to 2003, and then increased by nearly 24 percent from 2003 to 2011. The study’s authors concluded that the rise in these injuries since 2003 warrants amplified injury prevention efforts.
“Although successful injury prevention efforts with baby walkers led to a decline in nursery product–related injuries from 1991 to 2003, the number and rate of these injuries have been increasing since 2003,” the study stated. “Greater efforts are warranted to prevent injuries associated with other nursery products, especially baby carriers, cribs and strollers.”
Researchers looked at data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, making this the first study to use nationally representative data to probe the epidemiology of injuries associated with a broad range of nursery products among young children. The study was approved by the institutional review board of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
According to annual reports by Kids in Danger, nursery products were the leading category of children’s products recalled in the United States from 2009 to 2012, yet these dangerous products remain in households. Parents can check for recalls by visiting www.recalls.gov and can also sign up for recall email alerts on the website.
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