Precious Cargo

Every hour, at least two children end up i the hosptial from injuries in their strollers and carriers.  That's according to a study published this week in the journal Academic Pediatrics by researchers from Nationwide Children's Hospital.

The study found that between 1990 and 2010, a total of 360,937 children (ages 5 and under) were hospitalized after being injured in strollers and carriers

According to the report, falls and tip-overs accounted for most of the injuries. 67% of stroller incidents and 63% of carrier incidents involved falls.  29% of carrier injuries and 16% of stroller injuries were caused by tipping over.

The most common type of injury from falls or tip-overs related to the child's head or face.  Many of these injuries are bumps and bruises.  But traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and concussions accounted for 25% of stroller-related injuries and 35% of carrier-related injuries.

And the number of serious injuries rose over the course of the study.  The frequency of stroller-related TBIs and concussions doubled from 19% in 1990 to 42% in 2010.  The number of carrier-related TBIs and concussions tripled from 18% in 1990 to 53% in 2010.

To combat these injuries, the research center affiliated with Nationwide Children's Hospital offered these safety recommendations to parents:

- Always buckle up.  Follow manufacturer's instructions for securing chidren in strollers or carriers.

-Keep handles clear. Avoid placing heavy items over a stroller or carrier handle as they can make the device top-heavy or unstable.

-Make sure it fits your child.  Make sure the stroller or carrier you are using is made to carry the weight of your child.

-Lock the wheels.  Lock the wheels in the "park" position so the stroller doesn't roll away.  Also, make sure carriers are secure if they interlock with a stroller.

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