Nursery Product Injuries on the Rise
Whether you decorate with animals or anchors, pastels or bold stripes, there’s one aspect of a nursery every parent can agree on: It should be a safe haven.
All parents want to protect their bundle of joy, but sometimes items in the very room designed to keep babies safe turn out to be harmful. In 2014, 69,300 children younger than age 5 visited the emergency department for injuries caused by nursery products.
What the Data Says
A new study in the journal Pediatrics looked at injuries related to nursery products over a 20-year period. From 1991 to 2003, the number of injuries steadily dropped. That was mostly thanks to fewer issues with baby walkers and jumpers. However, the numbers started to rise again from 2003 to 2011. While no single product category was responsible for this uptick, there was one type of injury that increased: concussions.
A reason for this could be that concussions are more likely to be recognized now than in the past. Still, there are steps both manufacturers and parents can take to reduce injury.
What to Watch Out For
In order of frequency, the products that caused the most injuries were:
Although nursery products were the most recalled category of children’s products from 2009 to 2012, product failure was the issue in less than 1 percent of cases. The majority of incidents were due to falls by the child. Collisions and falls by the caregiver were also among the top causes.
Keep Your Nursery Safe
With any product, read and follow the directions for safe use and be sure to inspect it frequently to make sure it’s in good working order.
Here are some tips for the top three most injury-prone nursery products:
Baby carriers: To reduce the risk of falling while walking with the carrier, keep the floor free of tripping hazards. Use a handrail when on stairs. Don’t try to carry more than the carrier at one time, and keep it off surfaces that are elevated, soft, or slippery.
Cribs/mattresses: Use the mattress designed to go with the crib—it should be firm and fit snugly. Keep soft objects like blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals out of the crib. They may be cute and cozy, but they make strangling and suffocating more likely. While bumper pads are controversial, since 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that parents not use them due to the risk for injury.
Strollers/carriages:Don’t take strollers on stairs, hang objects like purses or clothing from the handles, or let older children play on the stroller when it’s occupied (or even when it’s empty). Always use the safety belt.