Published: Tue, March 14, 2017
Health Care | By Jeffery Armstrong

Injuries caused by baby carriers soaring

Injuries caused by baby carriers soaring

A child three years old or younger is treated in hospital about every eight minutes in the United States for a nursery product-related injury - around 66,000 children each year, according to the research.

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. Research showed nursery product-related injuries increased almost 25% within the last eight years of the study.

Eighty percent of the injuries were caused by a child falling, and injuries were most commonly associated with baby carriers, followed closely by cribs/mattresses, and strollers.

Baby walkers are banned in Canada but are still in use in the USA and other countries.

"If the products had a different design that made them easier to use, there would be less injury", Mehan said.

Researchers analyzed emergency room visits from January 1991 through December 2011, and found almost a 25 percent increase in nursery product-related injuries within the last eight years of the study, USA Today reported.

"It is unacceptable that we are still seeing so many injuries to young children from these products", Smith said. Injuries happened the most at home, and 80 per cent of the time it was a fall.

Before bringing a new nursery product into the home, go online and look at information from a trusted organization for what types of products are both useful and safe for your baby. Most of these injuries were concussions or other head injuries, which can be serious in young children.

The lead author of the study, Gary Smith, had previously worked on a similar paper that looked into safety flaws on baby walkers. "We know here in Canada over the last 10 years, we've seen about 37 deaths related to unsafe cribs so some of the issues and messaging that parents need to be aware about is important", he told Global News.

To keep kids safe, the researchers recommend that parents and caregivers follow the 4 Rs before bringing nursery products into their home.

Check for recalls. Go to recalls.gov and search for the product you are considering purchasing to see if it has been recalled. There's usually a postcard that comes with the product or the packaging might direct you to complete a form on the manufacturer's website. Read the manual to learn when to lock it, when to buckle, where to use it, and where not to use it.

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