Every parent makes their child’s safety a top priority, and choosing quality jogging strollers, sit and stand tandem or double stroller that works properly is one of the steps they take. However, stroller safety statistics are causing alarm because they reveal a high incidence of accident and injury to small children.
Here are important stroller statistics and the impact they’re having on parents and the stroller manufacturing industry.
Two Children are Hurt Every Hour in Strollers
A study released in 2016 examined child stroller injuries from 1990 to 2010 and found in that 21-year period, a total of 361,000 children were treated in emergency rooms across the US, or an average of about two every hour. The study was led by Kristi Roberts of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital who calls the number, “just the tip of the iceberg” because the study did not address injuries treated at home or at medical facilities other than emergency rooms.
Stroller Defects Cause Many Injuries
Common stroller malfunctions include:
- Strollers collapsing due to faulty construction
- Defective hinges that children get fingers caught in leading to lacerations and amputations
- Spaces such as leg holes in which children try to get through, leading to strangulation and suffocation
- Unstable frames that make the stroller prone to tipping
- Small parts that children can remove and potentially choke on
- Exposed sharp edges such as those on tubular metal frames that can cause cuts
Strollers are among the consumer products most frequently recalled due to safety risks. For example, in 2010, Graco recalled 1.5 million strollers after five children had finger tips amputated and Cybex recalled 1,500 products due to the risk of lacerations.
If your stroller shows any of the tendencies listed, stop using it immediately, and contact the manufacturer to see if it has been recalled.
Head Injuries are the Most Common Stroller Mishap
The stroller statistics accumulated by Nationwide Children’s Hospital and widely reported showed concussion and traumatic brain injury (TBI) were the most common and the most severe injuries. The study reported that falling from the stroller was the cause of two-thirds of concussion and TBI. Falls typically happen when children are left alone in a stroller without restraint or when they’re able to remove or get free from the restraints while unattended. Another 16 percent of injuries was due to strollers tipping over due to defective design, improper use or striking an obstacle in their path.
Failures in Adult Supervision Lead to Many Accidents
As noted, the stroller statistics uncovered show head injuries to be numerous and often severe, and that the most common cause of them is children falling out of the stroller. Because of these preventable dangers, health organizations like the Mayo Clinic and the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) are seeking to educate parents and other adults who care for children about stroller safety. For example, the AAP encourages adults to use the seat belt and harness on every outing and to “never leave the child unattended.”
New Federal Safety Standards for Strollers
In response to the stroller statistics about child injuries, the US Consumer Products Safety Commission approved new federal mandatory safety standards for carriages and strollers in March of 2014. The goal of the safety standards is “to prevent deaths and injuries to infants and children.”
The standards are to be followed in the manufacturing of strollers in which children are seated or partially reclined and carriages in which children are lying down. Single and double strollers are covered by the standards, both front-and-back models and side-by-side strollers. Manufacturers are required to abide by the standards developed in ASTM International (ASTM F833-13b). Potential hazard addressed include hinges that can pinch or amputate, wheels that break or become detached, faulty parking brakes, locking mechanism failure, structural integrity and stability and problems with restraints.
A Safer Future for Strollers and the Children in Them
The goal of voluntary and forced stroller recalls and the new CPSC federal safety standard, of course, is to reduce the number and severity of injuries. When these measures are combined with adults doing their part to prevent injuries, the next generation of stroller statistics should reflect a world that is safer for kids.