News headlines each day are littered with stories of child injuries resulting from falls, car accidents, faulty products, or even parental negligence. Attorneys and loved ones of the children injured in these cases constantly pursue justice in the form of lawsuits and arrests for those responsible. Children’s parents and guardians subsequently spend hours upon hours making sure that hazardous materials and objects are out of reach for little ones. However, recent studies show that products meant for young children are actually causing the most harm.
Some Statistics on Child Injuries
Approximately 2,800 children – age 14 and under – die each year as a result of unintentional injury, the leading cause of death in children nationwide. And with approximately one-third of those stemming from falls, parents would be right to assume their greatest worry is slippery surfaces and tripping hazards.
Or, today’s parents might think that taking the training wheels off for the first time is the greatest risk, since nearly 286,000 children are treated for bicycle-related injuries each year and half of those are diagnosed with traumatic brain injury.
But a recent study, conducted by a team of researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, shows that items commonly found in a household with a young child is the culprit for a significant percentage of child injuries each year.
“My co-authors and I realized that there really hadn’t been any research on injuries related to these products even though the majority of kids in the country use them on a daily basis,” says Dr. Sarah Keim, co-author of the study. “We wanted to fill that gap in scientific knowledge, because there have been reports in the literature of severe cases of children being burned by overheated bottles and choking on pacifier parts.”
Keim and her team, pictured above, analyzed data from a network of more than 100 hospitals and found that more than 45,000 children younger than three years old were taken to the emergency room with an injury related to baby bottles, pacifiers and sippy cups. On a smaller scale, that number equates to one child in every four hours.
Small Parts Lead to Big Trouble
Though the cause of the injuries is a bit of a surprise, the area in which toddlers are most injured is not. Of the more than 45,000 child injuries annually, Keim and her team found that 71 percent were to the mouth and 20 percent were to the face, head or neck.
Baby bottles were the most frequent source of injury cases, as they accounted for approximately two-thirds of all reported injuries. Pacifiers accounted for 20 percent of all injuries and sippy cups made up an additional 14 percent.
“We think these injuries are likely occurring because children are walking or running with these products in their mouth,” Keim added. Two-thirds of injuries were to children who were 1-year-old. That’s really the age when kids are starting to become mobile, so they’re pretty unsteady on their feet. This may explain why about 86 percent of the injuries were falls.”
The study also suggests that since the statistics presented in the study strictly regarded emergency room visits, there are likely even more injuries that parents are treating themselves.
Keim and her team at Nationwide Children’s Hospital hope that the results of this study will spread awareness about the frequently overlooked objects leading to serious child injuries. If nothing else, the study proves that parents can never be too careful.
If your child has been injured, you may be entitled to financial compensation for injuries, medical bills and lost enjoyment of life. Contact the Davis Law Group today at 206-727-4000 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.