Disappointingly, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that injuries caused by cribs, strollers, high chairs and other nursery products spiked 21 percent in 2009 from the previous year. Regulators estimated there were 77,300 emergency-room visits related to products aimed at children younger than 5 years old, compared with 63,700 in 2008, a report this week details. Even more frustrating is that the agency doesn’t have an explanation for the increase.
The products covered in the report have been subject to recalls in the past year. Retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Target Corp., Kmart and Toys R Us have recalled cribs. Newell Rubbermaid Inc.’s Graco subsidiary recalled high chairs in March and an infant carrier-stroller combination last month.
The number of injuries rose 2 percent in 2008 and fell 5.9 percent in 2007. CPSC epidemiologists said the reasons for the 2009 increase may be technical and may not represent a statistically significant jump. Infant carriers, cribs and strollers accounted for more than half of the injuries, according to the report, which uses a sample of emergency-room data to estimate a national trend.
Infant carriers, including those that can be used as car seats, were involved in 15,800 injuries last year, compared with 11,700 in 2008 — a 35 percent increase. There were 14,600 children sent to the emergency room with crib injuries last year, a 27 percent increase from 11,500 in 2008, the CPSC said.