Most parents pack their nursery full of products, such as diaper changing stations, cribs, storage chests, lamps, nightlights, chairs and rocking horses. All of these products can put children at risk of a wide range of injuries.
According to a new study, published in the journal Pediatrics, approximately 66,000 children under the age of 3 are treated each year, in emergency rooms after sustaining injuries from nursery products. The 20-year study found such injuries increased about 25 percent in the past eight years of the study, which ended in December 2011.
The chair of pediatrics at the University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center and lead author of the study, Dr. Esther Liu, said parents should follow manufacturer recommendations and be on the lookout for recalls. The study shows such injuries occur every eight minutes, making them extremely common.
The Findings And What It Means
Researchers examined patient data from hospital emergency room visits from January 1991 through December 2011. The findings showed an average of over 66,200 injuries, involving nursery products occur each year in children under the age of 3.
Over half of the injuries occurred in children under the age of 1, with babies between the ages of 6 and 11 months accounting for the highest segment of the injuries. The researchers note that the estimates are probably lower, because they only account for injuries that are treated in emergency rooms, excluding those treated in urgent care centers and doctor’s offices. Pre-hospital fatalities linked to injuries are also under-reported, because the emergency room was bypassed in these cases.
Most Common Types Of Injuries
Self-precipitated falls account for 80 percent of the injuries, making it the most common mechanism of injury. The areas of the body that are most likely to be injured include the neck, face and head. The study showed that most of the children, who suffer nursery-related injuries are not admitted to the hospital and the approximately 74 percent were under the age of 1 year old.
The Most Likely Unsafe Nursery Product
Injuries linked to cribs/mattresses, carriages/strollers and baby carriers were the most common, according to the findings.
Baby carriers accounted for one-third of the product failures, while cribs/mattresses were the second most common source of injury and linked to the majority of fatalities. Injuries related to stroller/carriage were mostly due to falls and tip-overs.
An estimated 80 percent of nursery products that have been recalled are not removed from the home. The main reason is because people commonly donate their nursery products to others, sell them or save them for siblings. While this is common practice, it is dangerous and puts the children at risk of injuries and fatalities.
To check for product recalls, visit https://www.recalls.gov.