Children Injured In Baby Gate Injuries Has Tripled According To A New Study By Nationwide Children’s Hospital
A new study released by Nationwide Children’s Hospital states that infant injuries from baby gates are on the rise, but according to the study, a higher number of baby gate injuries could indicate that families are working harder to protect their children from other, more serious, accidents. In the United States, the rate of baby gate injuries has tripled between 1990 and 2010, according to the Academic Pediatrics study.
Details from the study showed that the estimated rate of baby gate injuries has increased from about 3.9 cases per 100,000 children in 1990 to about 12.5 cases per 100,000 children in 2010. The study’s author, pediatric injury-prevention expert from Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio Lara McKenzie, said in a statement, “We are probably seeing more of these injuries because parents are using these gates in their homes, which is good.” She cautions both parents and manufacturers, however, to pay attention to where baby gates could cause additional injuries, such as ensuring the gates are installed properly, and making sure they are secure wherever they are installed.[ May 2014, nationwidechildrens.org/news-room-articles/new-study-finds-number-of-children-treated-in-us-emergency-departments-for-baby-gate-related-injuries-nearly-quadrupled-since-1990?contentid=126371]
The researchers in the study looked at data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, which is a database of injuries collected from hospitals around the nation. Over the study period, about 37,000 children and babies were injured in baby gate-related accidents. This small collection of data was used to estimate the injury rate throughout the nation. The data revealed that 60 percent of injuries occurred in children older than 2 years of age. 61 percent of injuries were boys. Common baby gate injuries included bruises and bumps, accounting for 33 percent of injuries. 16 percent of infant injuries resulted in brain injuries, like concussions. Over 97 percent of cases did not have to be hospitalized.
The researchers observed that most of the time, children were injured when trying to push through the baby gates. In some cases, children were injured on sharp edges of the gate. Multiple injuries occurred when parents used pressure-mounted gates at the top of stairs, rather than wall-mounted gates. This caused some children to fall down the stairs after pushing the gate through the opening. McKenzie stated in the study that pressure-mounted gates should never be used to block levels of varying heights. Pressure-mounted gates are for the sole use of blocking the entrance to a room on the same floor level. McKenzie cautioned parents and caregivers to take precautions when using and installing baby gates. She told Live Science in a statement, “Baby gates are one of the most widely used home safety products, and they are meant to protect children from accessing stairways and doorways and other hazards in the home, but the problem is that there is not always a good fit or match with the gate and the area that it is being used in.” [May 2014, livescience.com/45323-baby-gates-injuries rise.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Livesciencecom+(LiveScience.com+Science+Headline+Feed)]
Parents and caregivers can reduce the chance of accident occurring by ensuring the gate fits the doorway properly and has no sharp edges that can injure children. Check the recommended age of use for each gate, as older children may try to climb over or push through the gate, which could lead to injuries.