(Reuters Health) – Cases and beds on accidents are now the leading cause of injuries to children aged 4 years and younger in the United States and the leading cause of infant injuries, according to new research.
"Parents, family members and carers should pay attention to the risk of leaving the child or child out of control on the bed or on the couch, regardless of how the furniture seems to be soft or how far from the edge of the child is placed," says co-author Dr . Viachaslau Bradko was e-mailed to Reuters Health.
"Just as health care providers discuss specific car seats for the safe transport of children, they have to warn families about the dangers of a benign furniture picture for a child without supervision," said Bradko, an orthopedic surgeon at the Texas Children's Hospital in Houston.
His group presented their findings on November 5 at the annual American Academy of Pediatrics conference in Orlando, Florida.
The researchers analyzed a decade of data on injuries treated in emergency rooms from the National Electronic Injury Control System at the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Sampling and analysis showed that 2.3 million children under the age of five who were treated for sofas and bed-related injuries were treated for the period 2007-2016. This means an annual average of 115.2 injuries per 10,000 children in this age group in the general population.
Figures put soft furniture heavily against other causes of injuries. The next most common cause, accidents associated with stairways, occurred during the study period with an average rate of 46.8 per 10,000 children.
"We were surprised how frequent these injuries were. In fact, we found that they were three times more common than injuries from the stairs," Bradko said.
Infants under the age of 12 months are larger than the average proportion of soft furniture damage, accounting for 27.7 percent of all. These youngest patients also needed hospitalization more than twice.
Students found that boys were mostly damaged as girls, 55 percent to 45 percent. Injuries to soft tissues and lacerations were the most common types of injuries, and three out of five children injured the face and head.
If there are good news, there may be only a few of these injuries – only 2.7 percent – need to be hospitalized. But the bad news is that these injuries are more common. During the study period, the damage associated with beds and sofas increased by almost 17 percent.
"In fact, the numbers are even higher, since not all children come to work for emergency cases," Dr. Jordan Taylor from Stanford University School of Medicine in California, who did not participate in the research.
"According to the authors, these falls often do not lead to hospitalization, but the cost implications for all visits in emergencies are important. Education and prevention are probably the key to changing this trend, although more studies deeper into patterns of harm could be useful," said Taylor.
SOURCE: https://bit.ly/2PhWNOE American Academy of Pediatrics, 5 November 2018.