Fatal falls and choking by using car seat improperly

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It is a federal law that infants and children must ride buckled in car seats or seatbelts that are properly installed and properly used. Properly installed car seat can reduce the risk of fatalities by as much as 75%. One side installed car seats protect baby from serious injuries while travelling, on the other hand car seats used outside the car like at home, placed at counter tops, tables or at shopping cart can lead to severe injuries.

How many car seat injuries have been reported so far?
According to a recent report, every year ~ 9000 infants are admitted to emergency rooms due to injuries. The major reason of accidents was improper use of car seat outside the car.  Many times, the infants are not buckled in properly and fall out of the seat.  When car seat is placed on soft surfaces like beds, there is risk of the seat falling over places, which puts infants at great danger of suffocation.

About the study
The study was conducted by Shital N. Parikh, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Dr. Parikh analyzed the data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Surveillance System database. According to the report, researchers estimated a total of 43,562 car seat-related injuries resulted in trips to the emergency room between 2003 and 2007. The study excluded traffic accidents and included only infants 1 year...



old and younger. The research concluded that

  • 85% of injuries were related to falls. Of these, 64.8% fell out of a car seat; 14.6% of injuries were caused by a car seat falling from an elevated surface; and 5.6% occurred from other types of falls.
  • 84.3% of infants suffered with head or neck injury, 62.4% of which occurred in infants younger than 4 months old.
  • 8.4% of infants had to be admitted to the hospital for their injuries.
  • Three deaths reported

The results of this study were revealed in Washington at the American Academic of Pediatrics annual conference and published in the journal Pediatrics.

The study reflects that the injuries occurred due to the negligence and improper use of car seats by the parents. These injuries can be controlled, if parents are informed about the risks associated with using car seats outside of their cars. They should always be placed on a hard, flat surface, where there is no danger of the seat toppling over.

Source: WebMD

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