Injuries from nursery-related objects increasing in U.S., study says

More than 66,000 children younger than three go to the emergency room annually for accidents involving nursery products, according to a new study.

The study, published online by the journal Paediatrics, looked back over 21 years of figures from January 1991 to December 2011. A new study from the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital found that about every 8 minutes in the US, a child three years of age or younger is treated in a hospital emergency-department for a nursery product-related injury - which is approximately 66,000 children each year.

The nursery product-related injuries seen in the study were most commonly associated with baby carriers (20%), cribs/mattresses (19%), and strollers/carriages (17%). Then, manufactures responded, widening baby walkers and changing wheels, making it more hard for children to roll down the stairs.

Check for recalls: Look at Health Canada's database and search the products you're thinking of bringing home to see if they've been recalled.

But, in the last eight years of the study period, the number of nursery product-related injuries steadily increased, rising by 23.7 per cent.

Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital, said in a press release. Injuries happened the most at home, and 80 per cent of the time it was a fall. Most of these injuries were concussions or other head injuries, which can be serious in young children.

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The report also stated that a new recall for nursery products is issued about every two weeks.

Read the manual. To reduce the risk of injury to your child, make sure you learn how the product works.

Nearly 88 per cent of these injuries happened at home and most were related to falls.

In the meantime, there are ways parents can ensure their items are safe, and they are safely using them.

Mehan said that in addition to manufacturers making improvements, parents who are not purchasing newer products should be especially careful as safety standards are often improved. While you are there, sign up to receive alerts about future recalls, the study authors recommend. With baby products, there's usually a postcard with the packaging or you can register on the company's website.

To keep kids safe, the researchers recommend that parents and caregivers follow the 4 Rs before bringing nursery products into their home.

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