Crib, Nursery Injuries Up in 2009

<"">Crib, stroller, and high chair injuries have increased by 21 percent in 2009 versus 2008, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety (CPSC), wrote Bloomberg News.

The injuries caused by these and other nursery items led to some 77,300 emergency room visits for products geared to young children, under the age of five, said Bloomberg News. In 2008, that figure was 63,700, according to a just-published CPSC report Bloomberg News. According to agency spokesman, Scott Wolfson, there is no explanation for the spike.

Many of the products involved have been the subject of recalls this year, including recalled cribs from Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Target Corp., Kmart, and Toys R Us and high chairs and an infant carrier-stroller manufactured by Newell Rubbermaid Inc.’s Graco subsidiary, said Bloomberg News.

Nancy Cowles, the executive director of Kids in Danger, a group that follows children’s product-related deaths and injuries called the increase “troubling,” saying, “These are all products that have consistently high numbers of injuries,” quoted Bloomberg News.

Injuries dropped 5.9 percent in 2007, but increased by two percent in 2008, said Bloomberg News. Wolfson said that the agency believes that, while the jump is not “statistically significant,” epidemiologists at the agency said the increase could be technical, wrote Bloomberg News. The report derived its information from a sample of emergency room data to determine national trending.

Infant carriers, cribs, and strollers were involved in over half the injuries, said Bloomberg News noting that infant carriers, including those used as car seats, were linked to 15,800 injuries versus 11,700 in 2008, a 35 percent increase. About 14,600 children visited emergency rooms for crib injuries, an increase of 27 percent from in 2008 in which there were 11,500 cases, wrote Bloomberg News, citing the CPSC. “The CPSC intends to study the exposure children have to all the key nursery products,” Wolfson said, quoted Bloomberg News. “We have been and are continuing to work on new safety rules,” including those required under a 2008 law, he added.

Meanwhile, we have long reported on recalled drop side cribs with rails that can malfunction, detach, or otherwise fail, causing part of the drop-side to detach, which creates a space between the drop side and the crib mattress enabling an infant or toddler’s body to become entrapped. This can lead to strangulation and/or suffocation or a child falling out of the crib. About 10 million cribs were recently recalled and 32 children died since 2000 in accidents linked to drop-side cribs; 14 deaths were due to entrapment accidents likely caused by a drop-side, said the CPSC previously.

We recently wrote that Kids In Danger announced that 2009 saw the most nursery product recalls in history, issuing its annual study “The Year of the Nursery Product Recall,” in which it discussed the problem.

Nursery product recalls made history last year and for the first time, children’s clothing recalls also reached an unexpected high, due, in part, to strangulation hazards present in clothing with drawstrings. Recalls in 2009 totaled an unbelievable 21.1 million units; six recalls involved one million units or more. The report also stated that nursery products and clothing surpassed toys with the most recalls, representing 28 and 27 percent of children’s product recalls, respectively; products were recalled mainly due to entrapment, fall, and choking hazards, while clothing was recalled for strangulation hazards with drawstrings and choking hazards from small detachable parts.

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