There is a plethora of gear and accessories that first-time parents are gifted and purchase for their baby. From pacifiers to swaddling blankets, the list of things that a baby “needs” can become quite lengthy. However, certain items get used much more often than others. Two products that parents actually use on a regular basis are strollers and baby carriers. These items make it so much easier to take your baby out into the world and actually get some things accomplished during the day.
But did you know that these products are the reason many children end up in the hospital? In fact, a recent study revealed the astonishing reality.
How common is it for children to be injured by strollers and baby carriers?
A new study in the Academic Pediatrics journal discusses the findings from a 21-year study period (1990-2010). During this time frame, roughly 360,937 children ages 5 and younger were treated in emergency rooms across the country because of injuries sustained from strollers and baby carriers. Essentially, this means that an average of 17,187 young children are injured in the United States each year. It is also important to note that carrier-related injuries led to more hospitalizations than stroller-related injuries.
How are children suffering from stroller-related injuries?
During the two-decade study period, approximately 261,879 children ages 5 and younger experienced stroller-related injuries. Out of the children who were injured, 52.4% were male and 42% were younger than one year. Children most commonly experienced injuries of the head and face, leading to soft tissue injuries (39.4%) and traumatic brain injuries/concussions (24.6%). The majority of children were injured because they fell from the stroller (66.8%), while others were hurt because the stroller tipped over (15.5%) or they tripped over the stroller (8.8%). One encouraging statistic is that only 1.1% of children were injured because the stroller malfunctioned or collapsed on them.
How are children suffering from carrier-related injuries?
Roughly 99,057 children suffered from carrier-related injuries from 1990-2010. Once again, as with stroller-related injuries, the majority of children injured were male (52.5%) and younger than one year of age (89%). Over 85% of children suffered from injuries to the head and face, resulting in soft tissue injuries (48.1%) and traumatic brain injuries/concussions (34.9%). The vast majority of children were injured because they fell from the carrier (63.3%) or the carrier tipped over (29.4%). However, 2.3% of children were hurt because the carrier malfunctioned in some way or collapsed on the child.
How can I keep my child safe?
The most important thing you can do as a parent is learning how to use your stroller and baby carrier properly. Make sure you know exactly how to secure your child in the gear, wear the baby carrier, lock the stroller, etc. Additionally, it is also important to purchase new instead of used items, when possible. The reality is that you never know what happened with a product before you got it or how worn out it may be.
Lastly, make sure you register your stroller and baby carrier. This will ensure that you are alerted about any recalls that may occur. It will also help keep your baby out of harm’s way and not in a product that has the potential to malfunction. Even when you do everything right, there is always the unfortunate possibility that something can go wrong.