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A Child Falls Down Stairs, is Sent to Hospital Every 6 Minutes

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By Admin on March 15, 2012 6:57 AM

Stair accidents injure more than 90,000 American children each year, and send a child to the hospital on average every six minutes, a new study finds.

The greatest number of stair injuries involves children who are just 1 year old, researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, found. The study is published in the journal Pediatrics.

Researchers surveyed 10 years' worth of data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission to come up with their findings, CNN reports. The findings include:

  • About 3% of children suffered concussions or hemorrhages in the brain.
  • More than half of stair-injury victims were male.
  • Most stair injuries did not involve a device like a stroller or baby walker.
  • Some of the more seriously injured children were being carried by a parent or caretaker. This was especially true for children less than 1 year old: One-quarter were hurt in stair accidents while in the arms of an adult, the study found.

Increased multi-tasking by parents and caretakers is a likely a factor in many child stair injuries, the study's author suggested to CNN.

To prevent stair injuries, researchers recommend:

  • Installing a handrail you can actually grip if you lose your balance -- not a decorative handrail that can't support your weight.
  • Using hard-mounted baby gates -- not pressure-mounted gates that may become loose over time.
  • Marking the edge of each step with paint to clearly indicate the ledge.

Despite the large number of children injured in stair accidents -- more than 930,000 over the last 10 years -- data actually shows an overall decline in those accidents since the mid-1990s, CNN reports. A decline in the use of baby walkers may explain that, researchers said.

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