Utah Public Radio Reports Increase in Infant Brain Injuries Caused by Stroller Accidents
Walking your baby in a stroller seems like a harmless activity, but unfortunately, it is surprisingly easy for a serious accident to occur. According to a recent report by Utah Public Radio, the portion of traumatic brain injuries and other head injuries caused by baby stroller accidents increased dramatically from 1990 to 2010.
Face, Brain, and Soft Tissue Injuries Common Result of Stroller Accidents
According to a study recently published in Academic Pediatrics, a peer-reviewed medical journal established in 2001, over 360,930 children aged zero to five were treated in emergency rooms for stroller-related injuries over the 20-year study period. That’s a yearly average of nearly 17,190 cases, which equates to roughly 47 cases per day.
While the study noted a decline in the rate of injuries caused by stroller and baby carriage accidents, it also pointed to an increase in the proportion of brain injuries resulting from these causes. During the study period, the proportion of brain injuries caused by stroller accidents more than doubled, climbing from 19% to more than 40%. At the same time, the proportion of infant brain injuries related to baby carriers nearly tripled, climbing to 53% from a starting point of only 18%.
The study also ranked the most common baby and toddler injuries resulting from carriage and carrier mishaps. Baby carriage and stroller accidents were most likely to result in head injuries (43%) followed by facial injuries (31%). More specifically, the most common injuries resulting from stroller falls were found to be soft tissue injuries, such as sprains and strains (39.4%), followed by traumatic brain injuries or TBI, a category which also includes concussions (24.6%).
Male children were slightly more likely to be injured by stroller fall accidents than female children, with boys accounting for 52.4% of injuries and girls accounting for the remaining 47.6%. Age also played a role in the likelihood of sustaining a stroller-related injury, with children under the age of one making up 42% of the victims.
The study also revealed similar statistics on baby carrier injuries. Once again, males were more likely to be injured than females, and in fact, the gender ratio was nearly identical: 52.5% of carrier injury victims were boys (compared to 52.4% for strollers), while 47.5% were girls (compared to 47.6% for strollers). However, the age statistics were wildly different. Nearly 90% of carrier injuries affected children under the age of one, compared to 42% of stroller injury victims.
As with stroller accidents, the body areas most likely to be injured by carrier accidents were again the head (61.5%) and face (24.7%). Likewise, soft tissue injuries and brain injuries were the most common outcomes, accounting for 48.1% and 34.9% of carrier-related injuries, respectively. These figures seem to indicate that strollers and carriers pose somewhat similar risks for children of both genders, except for children under the age of one, who make up a substantially greater portion of carrier injury victims than stroller injury victims.
In adults, soft tissue injuries frequently involve whiplash, which is a common outcome of car accidents in Utah.
Recent Product Recalls of Dangerous and Defective Strollers and Baby Carriages
Unfortunately, it’s not exactly clear what specific factors are responsible for these statistical fluctuations over time. The answer isn’t necessarily an increase in the number of defective products, though like any consumer product, baby strollers and carriages are periodically recalled for safety concerns.
According to recall notices posted on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) website, the following baby carriages and strollers have been recalled for injury hazards – some quite recently.
- August 24, 2016 – Dorel Juvenile Safety 1st Step and Go Travel Systems are recalled because the “tray folding mechanism can partially disengage on one side when used with an infant car seat attached to the stroller, posing a fall hazard.”
- January 30, 2014 – Britax B-Agile, B-Agile Double, and BOB Motion strollers are recalled because the “folding mechanism can partially amputate consumers’ fingertips, break their fingers or cause severe lacerations… when they press the release button while pulling on the release strap.”
- June 19, 2013 – Kolcraft Jeep Liberty Strollers are recalled because their tires have defective inner tubes which can rupture, “causing the wheel rim to fracture and fly off as a projectile.” (Not only can this injure the baby, but the people who are pushing the stroller, or standing nearby.)
- May 27, 2011 – Lan Enterprises Zooper strollers are recalled because “the opening between the armrest bar/snack tray and seat bottom… can allow an infant’s body to pass through and become entrapped at the neck, posing a strangulation hazard… when a child is not harnessed.”
Experienced Utah Product Liability Lawyer Handling Infant Injury Claims
If your baby boy or girl was injured by a defective baby stroller, defective baby carriage, or other defective product, you may be able to get compensated through a personal injury claim or lawsuit. Product manufacturers have a responsibility to test their products for safety, and to place prominent warning labels on potentially hazardous products.
To talk about your family’s legal options in a free and completely confidential legal consultation, call the law offices of Overson Law at (801) 895-3143 to speak to a Salt Lake City product liability lawyer about your claim. Darwin Overson has over 30 years of experience helping parents and children in Utah get compensated for injuries caused by defective products. Our article on the worth of a product liability claim may also be of interest to you.