As a young mother, studies about consumer products for infants and young children always catch my eye. A recent study you may have heard about in the news used the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (a national database of consumer product-related injuries) to describe the rates and patterns of injuries from strollers and infant carriers (which for this study included devices worn by an adult, handheld carriers, and carriers as part of a stroller unit) among children <5 years of age over a 20-year period.
During the study period, there were around 260,000 injuries from strollers and 99,000 injuries from infant carriers treated in an emergency department. Study findings included:
- Most injuries occurred in children <1 year of age (55% for strollers, 89% for carriers).
- Most injuries from strollers occurred in the home, most commonly involving falling and making contact with the ground.
- The head was the most commonly injured body region (43%).
- Although the rate of injuries generally decreased over the study period, the proportion of traumatic brain injury (TBI) more than doubled for stroller injuries (up to 42% of cases in 2010) and more than tripled for carrier-related injuries (up to 53% in 2010).
- 65% of hospitalizations from stroller-related injuries and 78% of hospitalizations from carrier-related injuries were due to TBI/concussion.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations for safe stroller use include:
- Children should always be attended while in the stroller.
- Avoid hanging items from the handles of the stroller, as this can cause a backward tipover of the stroller. Keep storage items in the basket below the stroller.
- Children should be properly restrained with the seat belt and harness whenever in the stroller.
- Use the brakes whenever the stroller is stopped. Look for brakes that lock two wheels.
- Keep the child at a safe distance when opening and closing the stroller to avoid getting their fingers stuck in the hinges.
- Ensure that any hanging items or bumpers on the stroller are securely fastened.
For more information on stroller safety from the AAP, click here.
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