Fewer kids are getting hurt on stairs today than the usual decade ago, but new research shows that an american child still goes to the ER due to a stair-related injury once every six minutes, on average, and one in four children under Twelve months being carried on the steps also gets hurt.
One author of the study said hello is important for parents to supervise their children when they’re around the stairs and discourage them from playing on them. But he added that changes in how staircases are designed could cut down stair-related injuries.
Dr. Gary Smith, head from the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, told Reuters Health that we should build environments where we all know children will live or visit so that they are safe for them.
That includes built-in gates at the top and bottom of stairs, as well as handrails which are simple for young children to achieve and grip firmly, he added.
Smith said the study, published in the journal Pediatrics, is the first nationally representative study on stair injuries in young kids. He and his colleagues found that nearly 932,000 children under 5 were hurt in stair-related accidents in america between 1999 and 2008. That´s more than 93,000 kids per year, more than 7,700 monthly, or nearly 260 per day. Those numbers account for about 46.5 injuries for each 10,000 kids under the age of 5.
The most typical injuries were bruises, sprains or cuts, often around the neck and head. About one in ten of the injuries involved a broken bone, and fewer than 3 percent of the children needed to be hospitalized.
Dr. Young-Jin Sue, an ER doctor in the Children´s Hospital at Montefiore in Ny, said that was in line with her very own experience of the ER.
“Fortunately most stair injuries are extremely mild,” she told Reuters Health. “They´re soft tissue injuries bumps and bruises. I can´t remember the before we’d to hospitalize a child” who was injured around the stairs.
Numbers of injuries have fallen through the years, they said, dropping by 11.6 % by 2008, mostly because of a sharp decline in stair injuries tied to baby walkers, which were once accountable for 25,000 child injuries per year.
Voluntary safety standards enacted in the 1990s and heightened awareness concerning the dangers of baby walkers helped fuel the decline of these types of injuries about 1,300 each year, Smith said.
Despite the decline, a young child being admitted to the ER once every six minutes by having an injury suffered on the stairs, is a sobering statistic, and quite surprising, Smith said.
It isn´t clear how many children may have died because of the injuries since the data obtained from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, or NEISS, don´t track deaths, Smith said.
The data demonstrated that almost all of the injuries, 95 percent, occurred at home, and about 88 percent were caused by simple falls. Children jumping down the stairs or riding toys on the stairs accounted for 2.6 percent of injuries, and the other 2.7 percent were hurt using baby walkers.
Also, about 33,500 injuries were a result of children younger than 1 who were being continued the stairs by a parent or other caretaker. Those youngsters were 3 times more likely to be hospitalized than kids injured in different ways.
“We do reside in a multi-tasking world,” Smith said. “If you have to take your child down or up the stairs, only the child ought to be in your arms.”
Stair gates, handrails and softer steps are good precautions to keeping your child protected from stair-related injuries, but increased awareness is perhaps among the best advantages, said Smith.
Sue stated the importance of keeping stairs clutter-free, and ensuring kids are always supervised. “I believe the content for moms and dads again and again and also over again is: they´re growing human beings, and also you think you´ve got them figured out, however they’re always one step ahead of you,” she told Reuters Health.
Still, even the perfect parent can´t be watching a kid at every second, Smith said.