Breaking News: Strollers Causing Alarming Number of Injuries in Small Children
Because small children might have difficulty communicating how they’re feeling after a fall or accident, it’s advisable that they see a doctor for an evaluation after any serious fall.
Roughly two toddlers every hour suffer injuries related to their strollers and carriers, a new study has found. According to new research, stroller and carrier-related injuries sent nearly 361,000 American children ages 5 years old and younger to the emergency room between 1990 and 2010.
In their evaluation, researchers found that injuries to the head and face were the most common. One-third of injuries occurred when kids fell out of their strollers or carriers; children were also hurt when their carriers and strollers tipped over. Experts also found that concussions comprised one-quarter of stroller-related injuries and a third of carrier injuries. Concussions resulting from strollers, in fact, doubled during this period, jumping from 19 percent in 1990 to 42 percent in 2010.
Because small children might have difficulty communicating how they’re feeling after a fall or accident, it’s advisable that they see a doctor for an evaluation after any serious fall. Although common among children, concussions in particular, can be serious and hinder development, particularly if kids are very young.
One way kids fall out of their strollers is when seat back rests in these products are reclined down to a flat position, enabling small, wily children to slip out, explains Karla Crosswhite, a spokeswoman for the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
“A lot of times, people put the baby in their carriage and just go, not properly strapping the child in,” Crosswhite says. “But babies, especially younger ones, tend to move around a lot. So we’ve always advised caregivers to use safety harnesses each time children are in their strollers and carriages.”
The study authors offer similar advice for increasing safety: In addition to buckling kids in securely, they advise parents to make sure their strollers and carriers are appropriate for their child’s age and weight and not to hang purses and bags on the stroller handle, which can cause these products to tip over, a common cause of injuries.
Broken wheels and malfunctioning brakes were also shown to lead to injury, so make sure your products are in good working order, Crosswhite says, adding that parents should also check the recall page of the CPSC’s website frequently to receive current news about faulty children’s products or new recalls.
-- By Virginia Pelley