Cribs, Playpens Cause 9500 Injuries Per Year

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The very items parents depend on to protect their infants and toddlers are a source of an average of 9,500 injuries per year, according to a new report from the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The items in question are cribs, playpens, and bassinets.

More than 100 deaths per year also reported

Parents and other caregivers of infants and young children have become all too familiar with recalls of items they use every day, such as cribs, strollers, playpens, and bassinets. After thousands of recalls and the deaths of more than 30 babies and toddlers over the past decade, the Consumer Product Safety Commission finally voted in December 2010 to ban the manufacture, sale, and resale of one of these items: drop-side cribs. The ban becomes effective in June 2011.

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Yet families still remain apprehensive about the safety of these products, and the results of the new study highlight that concern. According to the report, most of the injuries evaluated over the 19-year period of the study involved cribs (83%), and the head or neck was the body part most often harmed (40% of the time). Most of the injuries (about 66%) were associated with a fall.

In addition to crib recalls, a massive bassinet recall was made in 2008, when the CPSC announced that nearly 900,000 Simplicity bassinets were being recalled because of a strangulation risk. Since then there have been other smaller recalls, including one regarding Eddie Bauer Soothe & Sway Play Yards, which had a rocking bassinet attachment that can tilt. Infants could become stuck in the corner or pressed against the bottom or side of the bassinet. In September 2007, Kolcraft Enterprises Inc. recalled more than 425,000 play yards (playpens) after a ten-month-old boy was strangled.

Parents and other caregivers of infants and toddlers are urged to exercise caution when purchasing cribs, playpens, and bassinets for their children. Consumer Reports offers a list of precautions to take when looking for a crib. When you use a playpen or bassinet, be sure these items are sturdy and that your child meets the height and weight limits stated by the manufacturer of the product.

SOURCES:
Consumer Product Safety Commission
Nationwide Children’s Hospital news release

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