Parents put a lot of faith in the makers of baby products. We trust that items used to carry, feed and soothe our infants will be manufactured with the utmost care and to the highest standards. Unfortunately, as a recent Reuters Health report reveals, that may not always be the case.
A new study conducted by the Center for Injury Research and Policy concluded a child under the age of 3 is injured every eight minutes as a result of accidents related to baby products, such as high chairs, carriers, strollers, walkers and cribs. On average, that means there are 66,000 injuries a year – and that figure only counts the children whose injuries landed them in the hospital emergency department. The report, recently published in the journal Pediatrics, indicates roughly four out of five of these cases can be attributed to falls.
What many are likely to find so troubling about this report is the fact that in 2017, with all our quality control standards and federal regulation, we are still having so many infant product injuries. Many of these incidents are head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injuries. In fact, this is the No. 1 reason young children wind up hospitalized for product-related injuries.
Study authors looked closely at emergency room statistics gleaned from 1991 to 2011. What they found was that in the first few years of the study period, there was a major drop in the number of injuries. Researchers attributed this to a declining number of baby walker injuries, as the risks of these products became more widely known. However, the number of product-related child injuries soared 24 percent in the last four years of the study. In total, there were 1.4 million injuries related to baby gear over the course of the study.
The No. 1 problematic device was baby carriers. These accounted for approximately one-fifth of all accidents. Some instances reportedly were blamed on parents failing to use the safety straps and buckles properly. However, it should be noted that misuse of a product in and of itself will not prohibit recovery of damages in a product liability lawsuit if a plaintiff can show that the misuse was foreseeable by the designer, manufacturer or distributor of the product.
The second most common type of child injury involves accidents related to bedding, mattresses and cribs. These accounted for 19 percent of injuries. Drop-side cribs were officially banned by federal regulators in 2011, specifically because they are associated with such a high rate of injury. Other problematic products include soft bedding, including crib bumpers, blankets, stuffed animals and pillows – all of which doctors now say are suffocation risks. Other injuries have been noted as a result of poorly-fitted or super soft mattresses.
Strollers were the third most frequently-cited cause of injuries to children under 3.Strollers with narrower wheel bases are at higher risk of a tip-over. Parents can help prevent these injuries by making sure their child is properly strapped in and the wheel locks are used to keep the strollers in place when they’re parked.
Contact the Carolina injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices by calling 800-887-1965.
Baby Gear Injuries Surging, Often Due to Falls, March 13, 2017, By Lisa Rapaport, Reuters Health
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