More than 17,000 children under the age 5 are injured every year by in strollers or carriers, according to the findings of a new study that raises concerns about the under appreciated risk of problems.
In a report published last month in the medical journal Academic Pediatrics, researchers concluded that more than 360,000 children under the age of 5 were treated in emergency rooms across the U.S. for injuries resulting from strollers and infant carriers from 1990 to 2010.
Researchers from the Nationwide Children’s Hospital examined data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System. Overall, researchers say the study findings were positive, indicating the rate of children suffering injuries from strollers or carriers decreased significantly during the study period. Yet, researchers said there is much room for improvement considering many children are still being seriously injured.
More than half of the children injured from stroller problems were male, the same was the case for children injured by carriers. About 42% of the children injured by strollers were under 1 year old. Comparatively, 89% of the children injured in accidents related to carriers were under 1 year old.
Stroller accidents were most commonly associated with head injuries, which accounted for 43% of cases. Injuries to the face occurred in 31% of stroller injuries.
Recalls of strollers and other baby products are becoming more commonplace. In 2014, a Graco stroller recall affected 5 million strollers, due to design problems allowing a baby’s fingertip to be cut off. Graco also recalled 2 million strollers in 2010 after infants became trapped in the strollers and were strangled to death.
Among infant carrier accidents, the head was involved in injures 62% of the time and the face 25% of the time, concluded the study findings.
Nearly 40% of the children injured from strollers suffered soft tissue injuries while one-quarter of the children suffered traumatic brain injuries or concussions. Among injuries from carriers, nearly half were soft tissue injuries and 35% were traumatic brain injuries or concussions.
Typically stroller injuries occurred when children fell from the product or during product tip-overs. About two-thirds of children were hurt when they fell out of the product.
In general, carrier-related injuries caused more serious hospitalizations. Carrier injuries resulted in hospitalizations seven percent of the time, while carrier injuries caused hospitalizations 2.4% of the time.
Researchers advise parents to ask for recommendations for reliable baby products, read online reviews and stay up to date with product recalls when shopping for baby products.