Child taken to ER due to stair related injury every six minutes
Every six minutes, an American child under the age of 5 is rushed to the hospital because of an injury involving stairs, according to a new report.
The report found that nearly 932,000 children younger than 5 were sent to an emergency room because of a stair related injury between 1999 and 2008, according to CBS News. That’s almost 100,000 children getting hurt on the stairs.
“What that tells us is that we have much more that we need to do to make the home environment safer for children,” study author Dr. Gary A. Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, told The New York Times. “Children under 5 spend most of their time in the home, and even the best parent in the world can’t watch their child 100 percent of the time. It just simply isn’t possible.”
And the actual data could be even higher, since the study just tracked children that actually ended up in the emergency room.
Smith said the figure was definitely an underestimation.
More than a third of the children suffered soft-tissue injuries, which are bumps and bruises. But nearly three-quarters of the injuries were to the head and neck regions. A different recent study has found that head injuries can be particularly problematic due to lingering effects of damage.
Researchers suggested installing gates at the tops and bottoms of stairs, but acknowledged that it was impossible for all injuries to be evaded.