A new study has found that the number of baby product-related injuries recorded each year surged by nearly 25 percent over an eight year period.
According to Reuters, a recent study published in Pediatrics examined emergency room data on baby product-related injuries from 1991 to 2011. Products considered included strollers, carriers, cribs, and walkers.
The researchers determined that almost 1.4 million baby gear-related injuries occurred in children under three during the study period. This is equal to 66,000 injuries a year or one child injury every eight minutes. Additionally, the number of injuries recorded increased by 24 percent from 1991 to 2011.
Falls were the leading cause of injury, and carriers were the most common culprit (accounting for nearly 20 percent of all accidents). Most accidents occurred when parents failed to properly secure safety buckles or placed infants on a high surface instead of the floor.
Cribs, mattresses, and bedding also common causes of injury, accounting for nearly 19 percent of all injuries.
Researchers noted an initial decline during the study, citing safer walkers and the increased use of stationary activity centers. However, as the study went on, reports began to rise.
One possible explanation for the surge is increased awareness. The senior author of the study, Dr. Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, pointed out that concussions and other head injuries appeared to be the driving force behind the surge in emergency room visits.
Smith noted that the increase parallels increased concussion awareness, similar to increases observed in the number of sports-related concussion over recent years.
However, Dr. Tanya Altmann, founder of Calabasas Pediatrics in California and researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles, noted that at least some of the increase could be associated with busier parents and a rise in possible distractions, noting increased use of phones and tablets.