USA Today reports, “More than 9,500 babies and toddlers” go to the emergency department (ED) each year because of injuries related to “cribs, playpens and bassinets,” according to a “19-year” study in the journal Pediatrics. The researchers found that an average of “113 children die each year from these accidents.” Lead author Dr. Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, says the “true number of crib-related injuries and deaths is probably much higher,” because the study included only children treated in EDs and “not those seen at doctor’s offices or urgent-care centers.”
According to the AP, the researchers analyzed “national 1990-2008 data on ER-treated injuries” from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Overall, the data showed “181,654 infants were injured”; and of the injured children who received ED treatment, there were “2,140 deaths.”
The Washington Post, in its “The Checkup” blog, notes that an “average of 26 such injuries per day occurred during the time studied, with most (66%) involving falls, usually from cribs (83%) and most commonly affecting the head or neck (40%).” The study calls for “creation and implementation of safety measures in the design and construction of cribs, playpens and bassinets. It also recommends that parents be told how to safely use such equipment and made aware of dangers they may pose.” Notably, the CPSC in December “voted to ban the manufacture and sale of drop-side cribs.”
MedPage Today adds that crib injuries were “followed by playpens (12.6%) and bassinets (4.2%).” The most common diagnosis was “a soft-tissue injury (34.1%), followed by a concussion or closed-head injury (21.1%)”; and the face (27.5%) followed “head or neck” as the most frequently injured body parts. The majority of children were treated at the ED and “released (93.9%); 4% were admitted, transferred, or held for observation”; and 0.9% left “against medical advice.” Most of the deaths “occurred in infants younger than 6 months and involved a diagnosis of cardiopulmonary arrest or sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).”
Meanwhile, CNN in its “The Chart” blog notes that although the study found a “statistically significant decrease in the rate of crib-related injuries over the 19-year” period, both Dr. Smith and the CSPC “say more can be done.” In a statement to CNN, the CPSC wrote that this year, it “plans to ‘use the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act and our Safe Sleep team to establish new and improved safety standards…and recall products that can pose a danger to children in their nursery.’”
Iowa company recalls half-million collapsible bassinets. The AP reported Iowa-based Burlington Basket Co. recalled 500,000 bassinets Wednesday “amid concerns that they could collapse if not assembled properly.” The Consumer Product Safety Commission “says the bassinets can collapse if the support rails that hold the basket are not fully locked into place.” Burlington and the CPSC have received ten incident reports, including two injuries. Burlington is offering “free repair kits to show exactly how to install the rails” instead of taking back the products. The bassinets were manufactured before June 2010.
From the American Association for Justice news release.