Falls Are Greatest Danger
A new study confirms that bath dangers are the greatest threat to young children.
The study is published in the journal Pediatrics. It finds more than 43,000 children are injured in slips and falls in bathtubs each year in the U.S. This is the first report that looks specifically at slips and falls.
There were an estimated 791,200 bathtub and shower related injuries among children age 18 and younger treated in U.S. emergency rooms between 1990 and 2007. That is an average of 43,600 cases a year.
The largest number of injuries occurred in children around the age of two. Altogether children four and younger accounted for 54.3 percent.
Most common injury was a laceration to the face resulting from a slip, a trip, or a fall. Injuries to the head and neck were the next most common.
"That is because young children, the ones typically injured in bathtubs and showers, they tend to topple forward, they have a high center of gravity, and they tend to strike their head and their face, and that ends up with injures such as lacerations," said Dr. Gary Smith of Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
While watching children is always advised, Smith says “They happen so quickly that a parent simply can’t react quickly enough to prevent them”.
The majority of injuries (71.3 percent) occurred in the bathtub and almost always at home. Of those injuries almost three percent of young patients were admitted to the hospital.
This is the first bathtub and shower related injury study conducted in the U.S. using nationally available data collected by the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The researchers from Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio recommend decreasing injuries by incorporating slip-resistant surfaces such as a mat inside and outside the tub and shower that reduces friction. They also recommend eliminating all sharp edges around the tub and shower and use a shatterproof shower enclosure.
Manufacturers are encouraged to make slip-resistant materials around tubs as a way to significantly reduce the number of injuries. #