Study Shows Spike In Emergency Room Visits For Kids

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Strollers, carriers and other baby products have come a long way when it comes to safety, but researchers are still seeing more and more kids rushed to the hospital with injuries.

Michael Stagliano is a stay-at-home dad. His full-time job is taking care of his five-month-old son, Bowen.

Whether they’re in the house or on the go, safety is always a top concern.

“It’s kind of all you think about,” said Stagliano. “Is he going to be safe in his crib? Is he going to be safe in a car seat? Is he going to be safe in a stroller? All that stuff becomes basically every part of every day.”

And for good reason. A new study in the journal pediatrics finds about 66,000 kids under the age of 3 go to the emergency room every year with injuries involving a child product.

“Or one every eight minutes,” said Tracy Mehan, the Manager of Translational Research for Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Mehan says the top products associated with injuries are baby carriers, cribs and strollers.

Overall injuries are up 24 percent, mostly from falls that leave children with head and face injuries.

“Much of this increase is due to the fact that parents are now aware how serious head injuries and concussions can be,” said Mehan. “As well as the fact that doctors are diagnosing it more commonly.”

Experts say it’s important to make sure children are always strapped into a carrier or stroller so they can’t climb out.

“And make sure not to put anything heavy like a purse or bags on the back of the stroller so that it can tip over,” said Mehan.

Injuries can also happen when a product malfunctions.

“It’s really important to go and check to make sure that it hasn’t been recalled,” explained Mehan.

Stagliano says he’s always looking for potential problems to make sure Bowen stays safe.

Researchers recommend parents and caregivers follow the 4 R’s: Do your research, check for recalls, register the product and read the manual.

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