(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – Some parents assume when they buy products for their baby’s nursery that they are safe and reliable, but that’s not always the case. In fact, nursery products, such as cribs and baby carriers, are recalled more than any other children’s product category, and a new study shows injuries among children are going up.
“We looked at nursery product-related injuries treated in hospital emergency departments across the U.S. over a 21-year period,” said Tracy Mehan, M.A., Manager of Translational Research at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “In the last eight years of the study, injuries increased almost 25 percent, and most of them were concussions or other head injuries, which can be very serious in young children.”
The study found that more than 66,000 children under the age of three are treated for injuries related to nursery products each year. That’s an average of about one child every eight minutes.
Eighty percent of the injuries were caused by a child falling, and injuries were most commonly associated with baby carriers, followed closely by cribs/mattresses, and strollers.
With a new recall of a nursery item about every two weeks, experts are calling on manufacturers to do a better job of contacting parents to make them aware of issues with their products. “Although manufacturers do a very good job of connecting with parents while selling them nursery products, they need to do a better job reaching out to them to let them know when there is a problem,” said Gary Smith, MD, DrPH, senior author of the study and director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy. “It’s unacceptable that up to 80 percent of recalled children’s products remain in homes of consumers following a recall and many parents continue to use these products, unaware that they are unsafe.”
To reduce the risk of injury to your child, experts recommend following the four “Rs.” “Before bringing any of these items into your home, research them, check for recalls, register your products, and read the manuals,” said Mehan. “These are important steps that parents can take to help prevent an injury to their child.”
Parents can go to www.recalls.gov to see if any of the products they own have been recalled, and while visiting the website, they can sign up to get alerts, should any recalls be announced in the future.