Injuries from nursery products rose sharply last year, study shows

Nursery injuries to little kids rises.Injuries to small children attributed to nursery products -- anything from a crib to a stroller to a car carrier -- rose sharply in 2009, a study of emergency room visits by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission found.

More than 77,000 children under the age of 5 had injuries connected to products geared for them, the analysis showed. About 64,000 injuries were reported the year prior and 62,500 in 2007. On average, about 88 small children die as a result of injuries related to these products.
Infant carriers and car seat carriers were the top source of injuries, with about 15,800 recorded, the report found. That does not include motor vehicle accidents. They were followed by:
  • Cribs/Mattresses, 14,600
  • Strollers/carriages, 14,000
  • High chairs, 11,700
"The numbers in nearly all these categories are far too high," CPSC spokesman Scott Wolfson told Consumer Ally. "It speaks to why we have new rules in place for two juvenile products and why we are pushing so hard to have new standards for cribs in place by the end of this year."

He added, "The agency staff is committed to putting those standards in place and recalling any products that are dangerous to children."

Wolfson said a more extensive study will be done to see how children are interacting with the various equipment and furniture and how they get hurt. He also said the numbers show how important it is to educate the newest generation of parents about safety as well as to share today's wisdom with grandparents who have recently taken on the role of caretaker of young children.

The agency recently launched a safe sleep educational campaign in conjunction with two crib recalls.

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 expanded the agency's authority to mandate design changes to a range of products in the name of safety. Largely, standards are set by manufacturers, who are not always eager to change how they make their products and don't always share the government's view about what is unsafe.

Nancy Cowles, executive director of the advocacy group Kids in Danger, said the agency should be making a bigger deal of the situation.

"The increase in injuries is one of the largest we've seen," she told Consumer Ally. "CPSC says it will be looking more closely to see what specific injury patterns are increasing. With all the recalls that year, we think more needs to be done."
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