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Cribs, Carriers, and Strollers Are Causing More Injuries in Babies and Toddlers Than Ever Before

New research shows 66,000 kids under 3 are treated for injuries related to nursery products each year, and the biggest culprits are cribs, baby carriers, and strollers.

baby sitting in stroller with toy Ipatov/Shutterstock
Eight years ago, my first daughter had a baby walker. By our third baby, I'd realized this product probably wasn't safe for use in our home, given the fact that we live on three levels!

According to a new study conducted at Nationwide Children's Hospital, and published in the journal Pediatrics, injury prevention efforts with baby walkers did in fact lead to a decline in nursery product–related injuries from 1991 to 2003. The findings suggest that since 2003, however, injuries associated with other staple baby products like carriers, cribs, and strollers have increased.

Researchers looked at nursery product-related injuries treated in hospital ERs across the country over a 21-year period, and determined that, concerningly, cribs and baby carriers are actually recalled more than any other kids' product category.

The study also found:

  • In the past 8 years, injuries increased nearly 25 percent. Most wereconcussions or other head injuries, which we know can be very serious in young kids.
  • A jaw-dropping 66,000-plus children under the age of 3 are treated for injuries related to nursery products every year. To put it in even sharper perspective: That's about one kiddo every eight minutes!
  • Eighty percent of the injuries looked at were caused by a child falling out of a carrier, stroller, or other baby product. Most commonly it was a carrier, followed closely by cribs/mattresses, and strollers.

So what can parents do to keep their beloved babes safe? We talked to Tracy Mehan, M.A., manager of translational research at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital to find out. "Everyone with young children uses nursery products and most assume they are safe," she said, adding, "Unfortunately, injuries from these products happen more often than people think."

She recommends that parents do their research before bringing any nursery product into their home. "Check to make sure it hasn't been recalled, register the product, and read the manual," she said, adding, "The responsibility shouldn't entirely be on parents; manufacturers have a role in putting safer products on the market."

Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Find her on Facebook where she chronicles her life momming under the influence. Of coffee.