(Reuters Health) – Sofa and bed accidents are now the main cause of injury for children aged 4 years and younger in the US and the main cause of trauma for babies, according to new research.
"Parents, family members and caregivers must be aware of the risk of leaving a baby or child without care on a bed or sofa, regardless of how soft the furniture appears or how far from the edge they place their child," said the study's co-author. Viachaslau Bradko told Reuters Health via email.
"Just as health care providers discuss special car seats for safe transportation for children, they must remind families of the dangers of furniture that looks tame to untreated children," said Bradko, an orthopedic surgeon at Texas Children & # 39; s Hospital in Houston.
His team presented their findings on November 5 at the annual conference of the American Academy of Pediatrics in Orlando, Florida.
The researchers analyzed a decade of data on injuries treated in the emergency room of the National Electronic Injury Monitoring System of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Sampling and analysis revealed about 2.3 million children younger than 5 were treated for sofa injuries and related beds in 2007-2016. That means an annual average of 115.2 injuries per 10,000 children in this age group in the general population.
The soft spot furniture figures fall far ahead of other causes of injury. The next most frequent cause, stair-related accidents, occurred at an average level of 46.8 per 10,000 children during the study period.
"We were surprised at how common these injuries were. In fact, we found them three times more common than injuries from stairs," Bradko said.
Infants younger than 12 months suffer a greater share of the average soft furniture injury, accounting for 27.7 percent of the total. The youngest patients are also more than twice as likely to need to be hospitalized.
Boys make slightly more overall injuries than girls, at 55 percent compared to 45 percent, the study found. Soft tissue damage and lacerations are the most common types of injuries and three out of five children experience injuries to the face and head.
If there is good news, maybe only a few of these injuries – only 2.7 percent – are needed in hospital. But the bad news is that these injuries seem to be increasingly common. During the study period, injuries related to beds and sofas increased by almost 17 percent overall.
"In fact, the number is even higher, because not all results fall on children who go to the emergency department," Dr. Jordan Taylor from the Stanford University School of Medicine in California, who was not involved in the study.
"As noted by the authors, this decline does not often result in hospitalization, but the cost implications for all emergency department visits are significant. Education and prevention are likely to be key to reversing this trend, although more research is looking deeper into the pattern of injury. can help, "Taylor said.
SOURCE: https://bit.ly/2PhWNOE American Academy of Pediatrics Meeting, online November 5, 2018.