From 1991 to 2011, around 1.4 million children under three years of age received treatment for product-related injuries. According to that study, which is a part of the April 2017 issue of the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, there are around 66,000 injuries each year within that period.
The study reported that most of the products associated with the injuries were cribs, mattresses, baby carriers including car seat-style carriers and those that parents wear on the body. Other nursery products linked to the injuries are strollers or walkers. And around eighty percent of the injuries were due to a fall.
Using a nationally representative data, the proponents of the study wanted to see how the use of particular nursery products could lead to the personal injury of children. That is so researchers can come up with the necessary steps to prevent further injury from such products.
More than half of the total number of injuries falling within the 21-year study period occurred during a child’s first year. There were also more injured boys than girls. Also, more than 80 percent of the recorded injuries took place at home.
Typical nursery products linked with recorded number of injuries
Baby carriers make up almost 20 percent of all the nursery products related Cribs and mattresses are responsible for around 19 percent of injuries, while strollers and walkers make up 16.5 and 16.2 percent of injuries respectively. Also, almost half of all the recorded injuries were to the neck or head.
From 1991 to 2003, researchers also noted a decline in the number of injuries across the US. That was probably due to the injury prevention plans that people began implementing on baby walkers. However, during the last eight years of the research, the number of injuries increased again.
According to the manager of translational research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Tracy Mehan, the decline that the researchers noted coincided with the period when injury experts worked with legislators and manufacturers toward a complete redesign of nursery products. The strengthening of the safety standards then became a real success.
Although the research does not have the latest and most up-to-date representation of the injuries that involve children and the use of nursery products, it is still one of the most accurate studies that provide baseline data on a national level.
The study now challenges manufacturers to redesign nursery products so that they will be safer for children’s use. That will help prevent the need for a family to hire an attorney to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer. And more importantly, a redesign could help to avoid further injuries.
Evaluating Product Safety
During the last quarters of 2008, Congress passed an Act that laid out the mandatory safety standards for nursery products. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act turned the previously voluntary standards into federal standards that are compulsory.
However, to determine the efficiency of the new measures, analysts must have enough data covering a given period.
It is good to note, though, that the United States is one of the countries in the world that implement strong safety standards for high chairs, bassinets, cribs, and other equipment. In time, newer nursery products meant safer products because of the improved standards for safety.
For parents to ensure the safe use of a product, it is also an excellent idea to follow the 4 R’s. Tracy Mehan recommended parents to do. Research first, check for any recall, look up the product registration, and read the manual for the product. Doing so will help anyone avoid further injuries.
Consumers must remember that a product must be from a trusted organization or a commission for product safety. People must also check if a manufacturer has ordered the recall of a particular product. In the event of a recall, consumers should fill out their product registration cards for manufacturers to contact them.
Manuals are also useful since they help people understand how to use the products in a safe manner, thereby preventing any personal injury. Those who are using secondhand products must also check for any potential flaws or defects that could harm the children.