Research In Action

Research In Action

pediatric concussion
Consumer Products and Traumatic Brain Injury
July 30, 2019

A recent study found that more than 70% of non-fatal traumatic brain injuries in children under 19 years of age were associated with consumer products/activities and that the type of product/activity contributing to TBIs differed by age group. This information potentially helps to inform a more tailored approach to parent counseling and implementation of safety modifications to the environment based on the age of the child.

For this study, data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS, which provides data on unintentional consumer product-related injury visits to emergency departments in 100 US hospitals) and the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System All Injury Program (an expansion of NEISS which collects data on more than 500,000 unintentional and intentional injury visits to emergency departments per year) from 2010 to 2013 were analyzed. TBI rates for different age groups, as well as injury-contributing “product” groups (including sports/recreation; home furnishings and fixtures; home structures and construction materials; toys; child nursery equipment; personal use items and other products) were examined.

This study, however, did not examine TBI severity, nor did it include TBIs that presented outside of the emergency departments (and therefore may be an underestimate of injuries).

What They Found

  • During the study period, children under 19 years of age accounted for over 4 million non-fatal TBI cases presenting to emergency departments, of which ~93% were unintentional
  • Over 70% of the injuries were associated with a consumer product.
  • Sports/recreation products contributed to the greatest proportion of all TBI (28%), followed by home furnishings (17%) and home structures and construction materials (17%).
  • Among infants, home furnishings and fixtures were identified as the most common contributing product group (42%).
    •  Within the group of home furnishing and fixtures, beds were the product most commonly associated with TBIs (6%), which was seen particularly among infants (25%) and children 1 to 4 years old.  (10%).
  • Sports/recreation products contributed significantly to TBIs in children 5 to 9 years old (32%), 10 to 14 year old (54%) and 15 to 19 years old (38%).
    • Within the sports/recreation group, football, (~6%), bicycles, and basketball were associated with the most TBIs.

Click here for resources from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on crib safety.