Home and Community Safety & Health Safety COVID-19

Which product-related injuries increased during the pandemic? CPSC explores

Photo: skhoward/iStockphoto

Washington — Although the number of product-related injuries that required emergency treatment fell 24% during the first seven months of the COVID-19 pandemic, “the types of products causing injury displayed some marked increases,” according to a recently released report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Using the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, researchers looked at hospital emergency room visits involving product-related injuries from March to September 2020 and compared the data with that from the same seven months in the previous year.

Injuries involving fireworks and flares had the biggest increase across all age groups during the study period, jumping 56%. That was followed by injuries related to skateboards, scooters and hoverboards (increasing 39%), and severe injuries stemming from incidents with all-terrain vehicles, mopeds and minibikes (also up 39%).

Other key findings:

  • Injuries involving button batteries skyrocketed 93% for children ages 5-9.
  • Injuries involving cleaning agents jumped 84%, while those involving soaps and detergents were up 60%.
  • Overall, bicycle injuries rose only 1%, but sharper increases were observed among people 40 and older (21%) and those at least 70 (39%).

CPSC says the numbers highlight “new patterns of risk that may have arisen during the pandemic.” Its COVID-19 Safety Education Center webpage offers consumer safety tips on bicycles, batteries, poisons, micro-mobility devices, fireworks and more.

“With more data and more resources, CPSC can help make sure that consumers are safer, whether they are quarantining at home or back at work and school,” Robert Adler, acting director of the commission, said in a press release.

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