More children being injured by strollers, infant carriers: study

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Columbus, OH – Every hour, about two children visit the emergency room for treatment of injuries related to strollers or carriers, according to a recent study from the Center for Injury Research and Policy, of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Using the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, researchers analyzed data of children 5 and younger who were treated in an ER from 1990 to 2010 for an injury associated with a stroller or carrier. They found that nearly 361,000 children received care. The injuries typically occurred when a child fell from the stroller or carrier, or the product tipped over.

The majority of injuries were bumps and bruises; however, traumatic brain injuries and concussions accounted for 25 percent of stroller-related injuries and 33 percent of carrier-related injuries.

The researchers determined that, over a 20-year period, the proportion of stroller-related traumatic brain injuries more than doubled, to 42 percent in 2010 from 19 percent in 1990. The proportion of carrier-related traumatic brain injuries nearly tripled – to 53 percent from 18 percent – over the same time frame.

To help keep children safe in strollers and carriers, experts recommend the following:

  • Make sure your child is buckled.
  • Don’t hang heavy items such as purses or bags on the stroller’s handles. Instead, store those items under the stroller or carry them on your shoulder.
  • Pay attention to age and weight limits for strollers and carriers. They are not “one size fits all.”
  • Lock stroller wheels when you are not moving.
  • Keep carriers low to the ground to prevent falls.
  • Watch for product recalls, listed by model, at www.recalls.gov.

“As parents, we place our most precious cargo in strollers and carriers every day,” Kristi Roberts, study author and research associate in the Center for Injury Research and Policy, of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, said in a press release. “By taking a few simple steps like making sure your child is buckled up every time he is in his stroller or carrier and being aware of things that can cause these products to tip over can help prevent many of these injuries.”

The study was published online Aug. 18 in the journal Academic Pediatrics.

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