Every six minutes a young child (under the age of five) in the U.S. is treated in the emergency room for a stair-related injury, according to a new study.Most of the injuries occurred as a result of the child falling down the stairs on his or her own. But 25% of children under age 1 were injured while they were carried on the stairs, and 16% fell in a baby walker. The majority of injuries were bruises and other soft tissue injuries, which accounted for 35% of injuries. About three-fourths of the children had injuries to the head and neck area, and nearly 3% were hospitalized as the result of their injuries. By Jennifer Warner
The article suggests the following ways to improve child stair safety include:
Install built-in, wall-mounted stair gates that are always in place.
Supervise children’s access to stairs
Keep stairs well-maintained and free of objects.
Parents and caregivers should minimize the use of stairs while carrying a child.
Do not carry other items in addition to a child while using stairs. The free hand should be placed on the handrail.
Avoid using stairs when transporting a child in a stroller or baby carriage. Use an elevator or carry the child instead.
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