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Tuesday, December 10th, 2013
More than 9,400 children are treated each year in U.S. emergency rooms after suffering injuries in their highchairs, most often from falling out of poorly secured chairs, according to a new study published by the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The numbers represent a significant rise in the number of highchair-related injuries–a 22 percent jump between the years 2003 and 2010. More from US News:
Despite the fact that millions of defective highchairs have been recalled in recent years, researchers at the hospital’s Center for Injury Research and Policy found that the number of children under the age of 3 who were treated in emergency departments between 2003 and 2010 increased by 22 percent. On average, one child each hour was treated for such an injury, according to the study, published in the journal Clinical Pediatrics.
“Families may not think about the dangers associated with the use of high chairs,” said Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research, in a statement. “High chairs are typically used in kitchens and dining areas, so when a child falls from the elevated height of the high chair, he is often falling head first onto a hard surface such as tile or wood flooring with considerable force.
Most often, the children seen were treated for closed head injuries, which include concussions and internal head injuries. More than one-third of the children injured (37 percent) were treated for closed head injuries.
Not only were closed head injuries the most common injury associated with highchairs, but they were also the type that saw the greatest increase between 2003 and 2010 – up nearly 90 percent, from 2,558 in 2003 to 4,789 in 2010.
Additionally, 33 percent were treated for bumps and bruises, and 19 percent were treated for cuts associated with falls from highchairs. Overall, 93 percent of the injuries involved a fall from a highchair or booster seat.
When information was available for what children were doing just before a fall from a highchair or booster seat, two-thirds of them were climbing or standing in the chair, which suggests that the chair’s safety restraints were either not being used or were ineffective.
Parents are urged to make sure their children are properly strapped into their high chairs and booster seats. If you are concerned about the safety of your highchairs, check the Parents.com Recall Finder, sign up for our Recall Alerts email, or check the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website to see whether your model has been recalled.
Watch this video for more tips on keeping your baby safe in his high chair:
Prevent High Chair Injuries: How to Keep Your Child Safe
Plus: Find a broad selection of high chairs at Shop Parents.
Image: Baby in highchair, via Shutterstock
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child safety, concussions, CPSC, head injuries, high chairs, highchairs, recalls, Safety | Categories:
Child Health, Must Read, Product Recalls, Safety
Friday, July 26th, 2013
A flow restrictor on liquid medication bottles may prevent the accidental ingestion of the medications by young children who figure out how to outsmart the “child-proof” caps on the bottles. More from ScienceDaily.com:
Standard child-resistant packaging is designed to prevent or delay young children from opening bottles, giving caregivers reasonable time to intervene. However, in order for the packaging to work effectively, “Caregivers must correctly resecure the cap after each and every use. If the cap is not correctly resecured, children can open and drink whatever medication is in the bottle,” according to Daniel S. Budnitz, MD, MPH, and colleagues from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Emory University, and the Georgia Poison Center.
To address a potential second line of defense, the researchers studied whether flow restrictors (adapters added to the neck of a bottle to limit the release of liquid) had any effect on the ability of children to remove test liquid, as well as how much they were able to remove in a given amount of time. 110 children, aged 3-4 years, participated in two tests. In one test, the children were given an uncapped medication bottle with a flow restrictor, and in the other test, the children received either a traditional bottle without a cap or with an incompletely-closed child-resistant cap. For each test, children were given 10 minutes to remove as much test liquid as possible.
Within 2 minutes, 96% of bottles without caps and 82% of bottles with incompletely-closed caps were emptied. In contrast, none of the uncapped bottles with flow restrictors were emptied before 6 minutes, and only 6% of children were able to empty bottles with flow restrictors within the 10-minute test period. Overall, older children were more successful than younger children at removing liquid from the flow-resistant bottles. None of the youngest children (36-41 months) were able to remove 5 mL of test liquid, the amount in a standard dose of acetaminophen for a 2- to 3-year-old child.
Manufacturers voluntarily added flow restrictors to over-the-counter infant acetaminophen in 2011. Based on their effectiveness, the authors suggest that flow restrictors could be added to other liquid medications, especially those harmful in small doses.
Image: Liquid medication, via Shutterstock
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Friday, June 7th, 2013
At least eight children have died this spring, mostly under the age of 2, because they have been left or trapped inside hot cars. This news, released by the advocacy group KidsAndCars.org, is a renewed wake-up call for parents and caregivers to be mindful not to leave young children unattended in or near cars on hot days. More from NBC News:
That includes seven deaths in May alone, nearly double the typical number of heatstroke deaths during the month involving kids forgotten or neglected in vehicles, according to the advocacy group KidsAndCars.org. It provides a devastating reminder of the consequences of distraction and stress.
“It has everything to do with our brains letting us down at the worst possible moment,” said Janette Fennell, president and founder of the group that works to raise awareness about the dangers of hot cars.
One child has died so far in June, a 2-year-old Escambia, Fla. boy, Hezekiah Brooks, who went missing Sunday on a 92-degree day and was found four hours later on the floorboards of his grandfather’s car with the windows rolled up, police said.
Most deaths occurred when otherwise well-meaning parents or caregivers failed to notice that kids were still in the cars.
The May deaths occurred in four states over about two weeks, starting with the May 10 accident involving a 5-month-old girl who was left in a car at Riverside High School in El Paso, Texas. Her mother, Wakesha Ives, 37, is a teacher at the school, according to news reports. El Paso law enforcement officials told NBC News they’re still investigating the case.
To date, 567 children have died after being left in cars in the U.S. since 1998, according to figures from the Department of Geosciences at San Francisco State University, which tracks reports.
Image: Child in car, via Shutterstock
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Monday, May 13th, 2013
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has, for the first time, voted to set federal safety standards for strollers. The commission’s vote, which was unanimous at 3-0, includes a series of previously voluntary regulations, and it adds specific provisions to prevent strollers from having a risk of injuries including scissoring, shearing, and pinching, most of which are associated with folding or foldable strollers. Last summer, Peg Perego recalled 223,000 strollers because of entrapment and strangulation hazards, and thousands of Kolcraft strollers were also recalled because of a finger amputation hazard.
For the new federal standards, CPSC staff reviewed more than 1,200 stroller-related incidents, including four fatalities and nearly 360 injuries that occurred from 2008 through 2012. The agency believes that the new standard will help to reduce the risks associated with the majority of the hazard patterns identified in reviewing the stroller incidents. Hazards include wheel breakage or detachment, hinge issues, car seat attachment, handlebar failures, and structural integrity issues. The injuries that have resulted from these problems include finger amputation, falls, and head entrapment.
The proposed standard has a 75-day “comment period” before it is added to the Federal Register, during which time the public can post comments at www.Regulations.gov. The CPSC recommends that the standard become effective 18 months after publication of the final rule in the Federal Register.
Image: Mother and baby with stroller, via Shutterstock
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Thursday, April 11th, 2013
3.4 million cars around the world, including those made by popular brands Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and Mazda, are being recalled because of faulty airbags, according to Reuters. The airbags, made by the Japanese company Takata, are at risk of catching fire or injuring passengers.
Toyota says it’s recalling approximately 170,000 cars in the United States, including certain Corolla, Corolla Matrix, Sequoia, and Tundra, and Lexus SC 430 models manufactured from 2001-2003. “More precise vehicle information is being developed, but about 510,000 vehicles may have to be inspected to locate the suspect inflators,” according to the Toyota USA newsroom.
Honda is recalling “approximately 426,000 model-year 2001-2003 Civic vehicles, approximately 43,000 CR-V vehicles from the 2002-2003 model years and approximately 92,000 model-year 2002 Odyssey vehicles in the United States.”
While Toyota and Honda have both listed press releases on their respective websites, Nissan and Mazda have yet to post information about the recall.
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