Nine thousand (9000) babies are seen in emergency rooms every year in this country because they are injured in car seat-injuries outside the car, according to a new study published today in Pediatrics.
That’s right: infants are being taken to ERs for injuries they’ve sustained in car seats – but not in a car.
The study was conducted by the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, using national emergency room records of babies under 1 year in age spanning the time period 2003-2007.
The good news is that fatalities were low in the statistics. Most of these ER visits did not result in the infant’s death.
However, injuries to the baby’s head or to the baby’s neck (or both) were very common. Injuries to the head and neck can result in life-altering permanent injury to any child, but particularly an infant under the age of one year.
The babies fall from car seats placed on tables, etc.
Usually, these accidents occur when babies are cradled in a car seat and the car seat is then placed somewhere – on a table, for example, or in a shopping cart. The car seats topple over, and within them, the trapped infant falls and sustains injury.
Or, the tiny infant is conveniently kept within the car seat, but not securely strapped in place. The baby squirms and slips out of the seat entirely, falling to the surface below (table, counter, floor).
Lesson to be learned: don’t trust the car seat to keep your baby safe.