In August, Forbes magazine did an interesting article highlighting how a majority of young children end up in the emergency room as a result of strollers and infant carriers, a quarter of them even suffering from the more extreme traumatic brain injuries. While many people likely realize that traumatic brain injuries and concussions have long-term consequences on cognitive development, it is generally unknown that these injuries have become the most common diagnosis associated with baby carriers and strollers.
Specifically, brain injuries comprised almost 80 percent of the carrier-related injuries and 65 percent of the stroller-related injuries that led to hospitalization. Over the course of the study, the rate of concussions and traumatic brain doubled for strollers and tripled for carriers. This works out to two children every hour suffering from these types of traumatic injuries (or close to 361,000 children injured between 1990 and 2010 which equals approximately 17,200 injuries per year), with head injuries remaining a substantial portion of all injuries suffered.
More specifically, the injury rates for strollers can be broken down into the following categories:
● 42 percent were children under one year of age
● 43 percent of all injuries were to the head
● 31 percent of all injuries were to the face
● 40 percent involved soft-tissue injuries
● 25 percent were concussions or traumatic brain injuries (most commonly due to the child hitting the ground)
Carriers had the following even higher, more alarming injury rates:
● 35 percent of every 100,000 injuries analyzed were due to carriers
● 89 percent of these were children under one year of age
● 62 percent of all injuries were to the head
● 25 percent of all injuries were to the face
● 48 percent involved soft-tissue injuries
Carriers also carried a hospitalization rate triple that of strollers, mostly due to entrapment, lacerations, amputations, entrapment, falls, and choking hazards.
Reducing Chances of Injury in Strollers & Carriers
The authors of the study made several recommendations when it comes to using carriers and strollers:
● Make sure you use a buckle and five-point harness, whereby the child is buckled into the stroller to ensure that they stay seated;
● Avoid placing heavy bags on the handles (as well as allowing children to climb on a stroller);
● Make sure that your stroller is locked, especially the brake when it is parked;
● Be careful using them near high-traffic areas where sidewalks are unavailable;
● Make sure the stroller or carrier fits your child’s specific height and weight. Seats that sit low to the frame, with a wide wheel base, are less likely to tip over;
● Keep carriers low to the ground and on non-elevated surfaces;
● Make sure carriers are on properly and your child can breathe easily; and
● Check to see if the stroller or carrier you are using has been recalled.
Traumatic Brain Injury Attorneys
If your child has been injured as the result of a stroller or carrier, we may be able to help. Dana and Dana Attorneys at Law are Rhode Island’s leading experts in personal injury. We can help you get maximum compensation for your claim. Contact us today for a free consultation.