Thursday, January 23rd, 2014
Store shopping carts are the culprits in an average of 66 child injuries each day in the U.S., a new study by researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. The injuries amount to one every 22 minutes–and they are so severe that they warrant trips to the emergency room for 24,000 children each year. More from NBC News:
The problem hasn’t gotten better since voluntary shopping cart safety standards took effect in 2004. In fact, since then, the annual number of concussions tied to shopping carts in children younger than 15 jumped nearly 90 percent, according to a new analysis of data from 1990 to 2011 by Dr. Gary Smith, director of Nationwide’s Center for Injury Research and Policy.
“This is a setup for a major injury,” Smith said. “The major group we are concerned about are children under 5.” His study is published in the January issue of the journal Clinical Pediatrics.
Kids ages newborn to 4 accounted for nearly 85 percent of the injuries. More than 70 percent of the harm was caused by falls out of shopping carts, followed by running into a cart or carts tipping over.
It only takes a moment for a parent to look away for a shopping cart accident to happen, Smith said. A wiggly baby in an infant seat or a toddler reaching for a bright box of cereal can easily cause a fall that results in serious injury. Children’s center of gravity is high, their heads are heavy and they don’t have enough arm strength to break a fall, Smith explained.
The researchers recommend parents choose carts with low-to-the-ground child seats (these often come in fun shapes like cars or fire engines), and remain vigilant if they have to use regular cart seats.
Click here for more guidelines to help keep your child safe around the house.
Image: Child in a shopping cart, via Shutterstock
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Wednesday, July 24th, 2013
Falling television sets–usually older models that are moved to other rooms when the family upgrades its main TV–are injuring a growing number of kids when the TVs fall. Every 45 minutes, according to a new, longitudinal study conducted by the Child Injury Prevention Alliance, a child arrives at the emergency room with a TV related injury. More from Reuters:
More than half of the injuries were caused by falling TVs, another 38 percent were caused by children running into the units and about 9 percent were caused by other situations, including televisions being moved from one location to another.
The majority of the injuries were to boys and about 64 percent of the injuries were to children less than five years old. Two-year olds were the age group most likely to be hurt. There were six deaths.
The head and neck area was the most common site of injury, and cuts, bruises and concussions the most common types of injury.
The overall rate of TV-related injuries held steady at about 17,000 per year over the 22-year period.
The percentage of injuries related to “striking” TVs fell dramatically over time, however, while the rate of injuries caused by falling TVs doubled from about 1 per 10,000 children in 1990 to about 2 per 10,000 children in 2011.
Image: Television and family, via Shutterstock
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Thursday, May 2nd, 2013
Amusement park rides including roller coasters injure some 4,400 kids each year, some badly enough to require hospitalization, according to a large study conducted by the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System. More from NBC News:
Most of the injuries are not serious — just bumps and bruises, but about 67 kids a year, or 1.5 percent, are injured badly enough to be hospitalized, according to an analysis of data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, which includes reports from about 100 nationally representative hospitals. It’s the most in-depth study to date, tracking 20 years of injuries which occurred at fixed-site amusement parks, mobile carnivals and fairs and coin-operated rides at places like malls, stores and restaurants.
About 20 kids a day are hurt on rides in the peak season between May and September. “That’s one every two hours,” said Dr. Gary A. Smith, who conducted the research for Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
Such harm — and the most in-depth study to date on ride injuries — highlights the need for more awareness, better education, and increased tracking and oversight, he said.
“In the past, the discussion has always been on roller-coaster injuries and the bigger rides,” Smith said. “The message here is that these injuries occur across a broad spectrum of types of rides and across many locations.”
Image: Roller coaster, via Shutterstock
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Monday, April 22nd, 2013
Practicing regularly is a key component of team sports, but there can be too much of a good thing, a new study conducted by researchers at Loyola University Medical Center in suburban Chicago has found, because excessive athletic activity while young bodies are still developing can lead to injuries with lifelong consequences. More from NBC News:
[The study] found that young athletes who spent more hours per week than their age playing one sport – such as a 12-year-old who plays tennis 13 or more hours a week – were 70 percent more likely to get serious overuse injuries of the back, shoulder or elbow, than other injuries.
“We should be cautious about intense specialization in one sport before and during adolescence,” Loyola sports medicine physician Dr. Neeru Jayanthi said. He presented his study on Friday at the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) meeting in San Diego.
“Young athletes should not spend more hours per week in organized sports than their ages,” he said.
Between 2010 and 2013, Jayanthi and colleagues at Loyola and Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago enrolled 1,206 athletes ages 8 to 18, who had physicals or treatment for injuries.
There were 859 total injuries, including 564 overuse injuries, of which 139 were serious stress fractures in the back or limbs, elbow ligament injuries and osteochondral injuries to cartilage and underlying bone.
Dan Gould, director of the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports at Michigan State University hailed the study as providing data on the dangers of pressing children to succeed earlier at a particular sport.
“It’s not bad for a kid to start a recreational sport at four, but specializing? We are seeing more ‘Little League pitching elbow’ from repeated exposure,” he said, referring to a common injury in young pitchers trying to throw faster fastballs and curveballs that can distort the arm muscles and joints.
Image: Kids playing baseball, via Shutterstock
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Tuesday, November 27th, 2012
The number of injuries that have happened on bouncy houses and other inflatable play structures is on the increase, growing 15-fold between 1995 and and 2010. A new study detailing the rise in injuries has led researchers to suggest that the government regulate the structures.
From a Nationwide Children’s Hospital press release announcing the study, which will be published in the journal Pediatrics:
A new study by researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital examined pediatric injuries associated with inflatable bouncers, such as bounce houses and moonwalks. Researchers found that from 1995 to 2010 there was a 15-fold increase in the number of inflatable bouncer-related injuries that were treated in U.S. emergency departments among children younger than 18 years of age. In 2010 alone, more than 30 children per day, or about one child every 45 minutes, were treated in hospital emergency departments for injuries associated with inflatable bouncers.
“The findings from this study show that there has been an alarming increase in the number of injuries from inflatable bouncers,” said Gary A. Smith, MD, DrPH, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “It is time for us to take action to prevent these injuries. Ensuring that parents are aware of the potential risks, improving surveillance of the injuries, developing national safety guidelines and improving bouncer design are the first steps.”
Image: Bouncy house, via Shutterstock
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