Every eight minutes, a baby or toddler in the U.S. is treated in the emergency department for injuries caused by nursery products, according to new research published in the journal Pediatrics.
The study analyzed 21 years of emergency department data and found that injuries to young children involving pumpkin seats, strollers or cribs jumped 23.7 percent from 2003 to 2011. Most of the infant injuries were to the head, neck or face, primarily because when toddlers fall, they tend to fall headfirst because their heads are proportionately larger than the rest of their bodies.
Researchers also noted that 80 percent of the infant injuries were caused by falls, which usually occurred at home, and during situations such as carriers falling off tabletops or walkers rolling down stairs.
No single infant product or brand was singled out, but 19.5 percent were associated with baby carriers like pumpkin seats; 18.6 were caused by cribs or mattresses; 16.5 percent involved strollers; and 16.2 percent were associated with walkers, jumpers or exercisers.
Before purchasing nursery products, researchers recommend that parents or caregivers follow the “four Rs” to keep their children safe – Research the product, check for Recalls, Register the product, and Read the user’s manual.
Consumer Reports and other sites provide product reviews, and product recalls can be found on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website. Other resources include MakeSafeHappen.com, HealthyChildren.org and the Nationwide Children’s Hospital website.