Number of Pediatric Injuries Involving Cribs Fairly High

Most injuries involve falls; soft-tissue injury is most common diagnosis

THURSDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- For every 10,000 children younger than 2 years in the United States, there are slightly more than 12 injuries related to cribs, playpens, and bassinets that result in an emergency department visit each year, according to research published online Feb. 17 in Pediatrics.

Elaine S. Yeh, of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and colleagues analyzed data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance system between 1990 and 2008 to describe the epidemiology of crib-, playpen-, and bassinet-related injury among children under 2 years of age in the United States.

The researchers estimated that 181,654 young children were treated for crib-, playpen-, and bassinet-related injuries in emergency departments during that time period -- an average of 12.1 injuries per 10,000 children annually. The vast majority, 83.2 percent, of the injuries were crib-related, with playpens and bassinets following at 12.6 and 4.2 percent, respectively. Most injuries involved falls (66.2 percent), and the most common diagnosis was soft-tissue injury (34.1 percent). Fractures accounted for 5.45 times the hospitalization rate of other injuries. The most frequently injured body area was the neck or head (40.3 percent). Children younger than 6 months were 2.97 times more likely than older children to be hospitalized.

"This study is the first to use a nationally representative sample to examine injuries associated with cribs, playpens, and bassinets. Given the consistently high number of observed injuries, greater efforts are needed to ensure safety in the design and manufacture of these products, ensure their proper usage in the home, and increase awareness of their potential dangers to young children," the authors write.

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