18 Aug Kids Suffer 50 Injuries Per Day From Strollers or Carriers
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Kristi Roberts, MS, MPH
Center for Injury Research and Policy
Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Strollers (such as these luxury strollers) and carriers are used regularly by caregivers and are intended to provide a safe and secure way to transport young children during everyday activities. However, parents and caregivers should be aware that injuries do occur while using these products.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: We looked at 21 years’ worth of data and found that over 360,000 (17,000/year) young children sustained a stroller- or carrier-related injury that required a visit to the emergency department. That is almost 50 children every day or 2 children every hour that are being treated in an emergency department for a stroller- or carrier-related injury.
The majority of injuries (over 60%; stroller 66.8%, carrier 63%) occurred when the child fell from or tipped over in a stroller (15.5%) or carrier (29.4%). These falls can be especially dangerous when the fall is from an elevated surface.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: As parents, we place our most precious cargo in strollers and carriers every day. While these products are safe for the most part, injuries do happen and they can be serious. By taking a few simple steps like making sure the child is buckled up every time they are in the stroller or carrier and being aware of things that can cause these products to tip over can help prevent many of these injuries.
While strollers and carriers are used every day without incident as a way to transport our children, injuries can and do happen. By taking a few precautions like choosing the product that fits your child’s age and size, making sure your child is buckled or strapped in whenever they are in a stroller or carrier, and being aware of the risk of tip-overs you can prevent many of these injuries from happening.
As tip-overs were common in this study and many of the injuries occur when the child falls head first onto a hard surface. Children should remained seated and buckled in at all times when using a stroller, heavy items such as purses and bags should not be hung from the handle of strollers, and strollers should be locked when parked to prevent unexpected movement.
Safety experts recommend the following to help prevent injuries from strollers and carriers:
Always Buckle up. Make sure your child is seated and buckled at all times. Read and follow the manufactures instructions. Choose a stroller with a 5 point harness, buckle the child into the stroller to ensure that the child remains seated at all times.
Keep Handles Clear. Don’t add heavy bags or items to the handles of the stroller. Place these items the in basket underneath. Never allow children to climb on the stroller as this could also cause the stroller to tip.
Lock it. Strollers should be locked into position so it doesn’t accidently close and LOCK the brake when parked to prevent unexpected movement. Be careful using a stroller near a curb or in high traffic areas if sidewalks are not available.
Buy a stroller/carrier that fits your baby. Choose a stroller with a wide base and a seat that sits low to the frame to make it less likely to tip over. Make sure the product is appropriate for your child’s age and size. Furthermore, when shopping for a new stroller, parents should look for a stroller with a wide wheel base, and a child’s weight should not exceed the maximum weight limit of the stroller or carrier.
Keep it low. Keep carriers low to the ground so the child has a shorter fall if the carrier tips over. Do not place the product on an elevated surface.
• Placing these products on a non-elevated surface to minimize impact if there is a tip-over, following all manufacturers’ instructions, exercising caution when using a stroller near a curb or navigating high traffic areas where sidewalks are not available, and not leaving a child unattended or only in the care of another young child.
Check for recalls. Both stroller and carriers have had recalls in the recent years. Check www.recalls.gov to see if the model you use has been recalled.
When using a carrier:
• Take time to put it on properly. Sit down when placing your baby in or taking them out.
• Make sure you can always see your child’s face and that they can breathe easily.
• Follow manufacturer’s guidelines and make sure your carrier is appropriate for the age and size of your child.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: This paper did not look into the long-term effects from injuries. The majority of injuries from strollers and carriers that we found were minor. There is emerging research coming out about the long-term effects of concussions and TBIs. Further research is needed to identify specific recommendations to prevent or reduce the consequences of these injuries.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: We know that our results are an underestimate of stroller- and carrier-related injuries because these data only examined injuries treated in US emergency departments and do not include those treated in other health care settings or by other health care providers. Although this is just the tip of the iceberg, the injuries we looked at in our study were significant enough to require a trip to the emergency department.
MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.
Erica Fowler, Christopher Kobe, Kristin J. Roberts, Christy L. Collins, Lara B. McKenzie. Injuries associated with strollers and carriers among children in the United States, 1990-2010. Academic Pediatrics, 2016; DOI: 10.1016/j.acap.2016.07.002
Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.
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