Stroller and carrier mishaps are injuring thousands of kids per year

August 18, 2016 Providence Health Team

Here’s the good news: The strollers and carriers you use to schlep your young children with you to the store are getting safer.

The bad news is that, despite product improvements, stroller and carrier mishaps have sent hundreds of thousands of children to emergency departments around the country.

Researchers said an analysis of emergency room data for children age 5 and younger showed the rate of injuries fell significantly from 1990, the first year reviewed, to 2010. Still, about 361,000 children—an average of 17,187 per year—were taken to emergency rooms for treatment during that period.

And because the data covered only emergency room visits, it likely undercounts the number of injuries.

Children were most often treated for injuries to the face and head, the data showed.

The researchers’ conclusion: Industry and regulators must keep working to make strollers and carriers safer. And parents should use newer equipment.

Owies Abound: Injuries to the head and face

Researchers found that boys were somewhat more likely to suffer injuries than girls and that the largest proportion of injuries were suffered by children who had not yet turned 1.

When children were hurt in accidents involving strollers, the researchers said:

  • 43 percent suffered head injuries
  • 31 percent suffered facial injuries

Among those children, the most common diagnoses were:

  • 39.4 percent soft-tissue injuries
  • 24.6 percent traumatic brain injuries or concussions

When children were treated for accidents involving carriers, the researchers said:

  • 61.5 percent suffered head injuries
  • 24.7 percent suffered facial injuries

The most common diagnoses in those accidents were:

  • 48.1 percent soft-tissue injuries
  • 34.9 percent traumatic brain injuries or concussions

The analysts said carrier accidents resulted in two to three times as many hospitalizations as stroller accidents.

Resources for parents

The analysis of emergency room data was published in the journal Academic Pediatrics.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission lists product recalls and research for a variety of products, including strollers and carriers. Its website also features a Kids and Babies page that includes safety alerts for parents.

Parents should talk with their children’s health care provider about keeping their kids safe. You can find a Providence provider in our multistate directory.

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