Injuries from nursery-related objects increasing in U.S., study says

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A new study at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, found a baby or toddler is injured every eight minutes in the United States from nursery-related products.

Approximately 66,000 children age 3 and under are treated in the emergency room for nursery-product related injuries each year, and researchers say that number has been steadily increasing in recent years.

Researchers analyzed data collected between January 1991 and December 2011 on the incidence of injuries to babies and toddlers from nursery products such as cribs, baby carriers, strollers and baby walkers.

There was initially a decline in injuries in the first years of the study, which the researchers say comes from a decrease in injuries from baby walkers. There was, however, a nearly 25 percent increase in injuries during the last eight years of the study.

“We have achieved great success in preventing baby walker-related injuries by improving the design of the product and instituting better safety standards,” Dr. Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, said in a press release. “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.”

The study found 20 percent of injuries were from baby carriers, 19 percent from cribs and mattresses, and 17 percent were from strollers.

Roughly 88 percent of injuries happened in the home and 80 percent were from falls, with 81 percent of injuries being to the head, face and neck.

“Many of the injuries associated with nursery products are to the head or face,” Tracy Mehan, manager of translational research at the Center for Injury Research and Policy, said. “For children this young, these can be quite serious. Of particular concern was the increase in the number and rate of concussions in recent years.”

Researchers recommend parents and caregivers research products before buying, check for recalls on baby products, register baby products and read the instruction manual.

The study was published in the journal Pediatrics.

UPI