Serious Head Injuries from Baby Strollers on the Rise

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

About two U.S. children visit the emergency room every hour for injuries related to being in a stroller or an infant carrier, a new study finds. Overall, more than 360,000 children ages 5 or younger went to the ER for stroller- or carrier-related injuries from 1990 to 2010, the study found. That’s more than 17,000 injuries a year. Many of these injuries happened when children fell out of a stroller or carrier, or the product tipped over. There was also a sharp rise in the proportion of concussions and traumatic brain injuries tied to strollers and carriers.

The researchers used a national database of emergency room visits to look for injuries associated with strollers or carriers. Carriers included devices that adults can wear to carry the child (such as a Baby Bjorn carrier), along with handheld carriers (such as baby-carrying baskets) and carriers that detach from a stroller. Most of the injuries (39 percent for strollers, and 48 percent for carriers) were soft tissue injuries, such as bumps and bruises. But about a quarter of stroller injuries, and 35 percent of carrier injuries, were concussions or traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), the study found. To reduce the risk of stroller- or carrier-related injuries, the researchers recommended the following:

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

  • Make sure the child is always seated and properly buckled into the unit.
  • Follow the product’s instructions for securing the child in the stroller or carrier.
  • Avoid hanging heavy items, such as purses or bags, on the handles of strollers, because this may cause them to tip over.
  • Make sure your child doesn’t exceed the weight limit of your stroller or carrier.
  • Lock stroller wheels when the product is “parked,” so it doesn’t’ roll away.
  • Keep carriers low to the ground. Don’t place them in high places like on top of a table, which would increase the length of a fall.
  • Don’t let a child push a stroller.

The new study is published online in the journal Academic Pediatrics.

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