Strollers and baby carriers are meant to keep kids safe and secure, but an average of 17,000 children are injured every year by one, researchers reported Monday.
It’s in part because they are so commonly used, but the survey found that over the past 21 years, almost 361,000 children ages five and younger were treated in emergency departments for injuries related to strollers or baby carriers.
The good news is that these injuries are decreasing, the team led by Erica Fowler at Nationwide Children's Hospital reported.
“Stroller- and carrier-related injuries, specifically those resulting from falls from the product or tip-overs, are important sources of injury for children five years of age and younger,” they wrote in the journal Academic Pediatrics.
They looked at medical records on injuries and found that from 1990 to 2010, 360,937 young children were treated for stroller or carrier-related injuries.
About two thirds of the kids were hurt when they fell out of the devices.
A quarter of the stroller injuries were concussions or other traumatic brain injuries, and more than a third of the carrier-related injuries were as well, the team reported.
Most of the injuries were minor, but 7 percent of the kids hurt in or by falling from a carrier had to be hospitalized, the team found.
“Although injuries over the 21-year study period have decreased overall, the considerable number of injuries annually demonstrates the need to further reduce the potential for injury associated with these ubiquitous products,” they added.
Recalls of strollers and other bay products are common. In 2014, five million strollers were recalled because the design made it possible for a baby’s fingertip to get cut off.
In 2010 baby gear maker Graco recalled two million strollers after receiving reports that four infants got trapped in them and strangled to death.
In 2013, Kolcraft recalled 96,000 strollers because the tires could blow out, sending wheel rim fragments flying.
This data is enough to make new parents start sweating (and stressing!), and while choosing a stroller is a big decision, there are ways to ensure you're making the right choice.
Ask friends for recommendations and try the stroller out before you actually buy it. Zero in on the qualities you're specifically looking for, like, do you want a stroller you can jog with? Read reviews online, and keep yourself up-to-date on the latest stroller recalls.