Congress And Crib Dangers

Thursday, February 17, 2011 - 10:39am

A congressional committee will get an earful Thursday about a startling number of small children who are suffering crib-related injuries.

Although most studies have focused on children who die in crib-related accidents, this latest one comes to a compelling conclusion about children in cribs getting injured, often seriously.

"We found that 9,500 children a year on average, that's 26 children a day, were being rushed to hospital ER departments for a crib-related injury", says Dr. Gary Smith, a researcher for Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Smith, a pediatrics professor at Ohio State and Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, was lead author for the study that looked at children under two who were treated for crib-related injuries over a 19-year period.

"Most of these were falls from the crib when the child climbed out”, noted Dr. Smith. “One-fifth of the injuries were injuries to the head, some were concussions, and we know that those can be quite serious especially among young children.”

A report on the study will appear in the journal “Pediatrics” next month -- but a congressional committee gets it Thursday because advocates want cribs constructed with more safety in mind.

"I think that cribs must be held to a higher standard. These are products where we expect parents to be able to leave their children unattended and walk away with peace of mind", says Dr. Gary Smith.

The study also looked at children injured in playpen and bassinet accidents, and comes on the heels of a recall of bassinets manufactured by Burlington Basket of Iowa.

There were at least ten reports of the bassinets collapsing on the children inside.

While the study concludes one child per hour is getting injured in crib-related accidents, researchers think that number is probably higher because not all children who, for example, fall from their cribs, are taken to the hospital.


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