When expecting parents go online or to the local big box retailer to look at nursery products -- cribs, changing tables, baby carriers, walkers, bouncers etc. -- it's not uncommon for them to quickly become overwhelmed by the enormity of options. Indeed, it may become so exhausting that they simply pick the item with the most stars or the highest price tag.
While this is certainly understandable, a recently released study by Nationwide Children's Hospital reveals that expecting parents might want to be a bit more selective when it comes to nursery products.
Here, researchers examined 21 years of emergency room data from January 1991 to December 2011, and found that there was a nearly 25 percent increase in nursery product-related injuries involving young children from 2003 to 2011.
The study, published in the latest edition of the medical journal Pediatrics, also determined the following:
- 81 percent of the injuries involved the face, neck or head
- 80 percent of the injuries involved children falling out of the nursery product
- 20 percent of the injuries involved baby carriers, 19 percent involved mattresses/cribs and 17 percent involved strollers
As if all this wasn't shocking enough, the study also determined that over 66,000 children younger than three are taken to ERs every year for nursery product-related accidents and that this equates to roughly one every eight minutes.
It's worth noting, however, that the researchers were careful not to extend blame for these staggering numbers to parents, but rather to the manufacturers.
"If the products had a different design that made them easier to use, there would be less injury," said one of the primary authors.
All of this naturally raises the question as to what parents can do to keep their little ones safe from potentially dangerous nursery products.
According to the authors, the answer is simply to follow the four Rs:
- Research all purchases or hand-me-downs
- Register all products with the manufacturer
- Read all manuals or safety literature
- Remain aware of recalls by visiting and registering at recalls.gov
If you or a loved one were seriously injured by a defective or poorly designed product, consider speaking with a skilled legal professional to learn more about your rights and your options for pursuing justice.