Injuries linked to nursery products on the rise: U.S. study

In the News The number of children being injured by nursery equipment has increased

More than 66,000 children younger than three go to the emergency room annually for accidents involving nursery products, according to a new study.

The study, published online Monday in the journal Pediatrics, reviewed emergency department records in the US from 1991 through 2011 for kids three years of age and under.

A new study at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, found a baby or toddler is injured every eight minutes in the United States from nursery-related products. The most common injuries were associated with baby carriers, cribs, mattresses and strollers. The sale of baby walkers was banned in Canada in 2004. And researchers say injury rates are on the rise.

"We looked at nursery product-related injuries treated in hospital emergency departments across the USA over a 21-year period", said Tracy Mehan, M.A., Manager of Translational Research at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

"If the products had a different design that made them easier to use, there would be less injury", Tracy Mehan, a Nationwide Children's Hospital researcher, told USA Today. Injuries happened the most at home, and 80 per cent of the time it was a fall.

In the meantime, there are ways parents can ensure their items are safe, and they are safely using them. The majority of the injuries were to the head, face or neck (81 per cent).

Nearly 88 per cent of these injuries happened at home and most were related to falls.

The report also stated that a new recall for nursery products is issued about every two weeks.

The study authors say up to 80 per cent of recalled children's products remain in parents' homes after a recall, and many parents continue to use them, unaware their use has been deemed unsafe. But nursery products may not be as safe as parents think. "That's simply unacceptable, and we can do a lot better".

Check for recalls. Go to recalls.gov and search for the product you are considering purchasing to see if it has been recalled.

When you bring a new product into your home, make sure to register your purchase with the manufacturer. With baby products, there's usually a postcard with the packaging or you can register on the company's website. That way, if it's recalled, you'll be notified immediately. Mehan said use the four "Rs": Research, check for recalls, register the product and read the manuals (from front to back).

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