In response to a recent study noting a high number of stroller or carrier-related injuries in children, safety experts recommend a number of prevention tactics.
The study, published recently in Academic Pediatrics, was conducted by the Center for Injury Research and Policy of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Researchers note that during the 21-year study period from 1990 through 2010, almost 361,000 children ages 5 years and younger were treated in US emergency departments for stroller and carrier-related injuries—an average of two per hour, according to a media release from Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Most of the injuries were falls from the stroller (67%) or carrier (63%), or when the stroller (16%) or carrier (29%) tipped over. The head (43% stroller, 62% carrier) and face (31% stroller, 25% carrier) were the most commonly injured areas.
In addition, per the release, while many of the injuries were bumps and bruises (39% for strollers, 48% for carriers), one fourth of stroller-related injuries and one-third of carrier-related injuries were traumatic brain injuries.
Among the children who were injured 7% of children with a carrier-related injury and 2% of children with a stroller-related injury were hospitalized.
“While these products are used safely by families every day, when injuries do occur they can be quite serious,” says Kristi Roberts, MS, MPH, study author and research associate in the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s, in the release. “The majority of injuries we saw were head injuries, which is scary considering the fact that traumatic brain injuries and concussions in young children may have long-term consequences on cognitive development.”
She and others on the research team recommend several safety tactics that may help reduce the injury rate. These include making sure the child is buckled up whenever he or she is in the stroller or carrier, keeping the handles clear, obtaining a stroller or carrier model that fits the child, locking the stroller’s wheels while it is in “park,” keeping the carrier low to the ground to ensure a shorter fall for the child if it tips over, and checking for recalls.
“While the number of overall injuries from strollers and carriers did go down during the 21 years we looked at in our study, it is still unacceptably high,” Roberts states in the release. “The updates to voluntary manufacturer standards and frequent product recalls in recent years have been a good first step but the large number of injuries we are still seeing shows we need to do more.”
[Source(s): Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Science Daily]