Traumatic brain injuries among children and teens in the United States are most often linked to everyday consumer products and activities such as home furnishings and fixtures or sports, according to a new study published in the journal Brain Injury. The study says about 72 percent of traumatic brain injury-related emergency department visits among children are attributable to consumer products. The study found that the top 10 leading products contributing to non-fatal traumatic brain injuries in children younger than a year to 19 years old are floors, beds, football, stairs, bicycles, basketballs, ceilings and walls, chairs, soccer and tables.
Traumatic brain injury or TBI occurs when there is sudden trauma, such as a jolt, bump or blow – that causes damage to the brain. The new study took national estimates of about 4.1 million non-fatal traumatic brain injuries in children and adolescents in the United States between 2010 and 2013.
What Caused Traumatic Brain Injuries?
The data, which came from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System and the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-All Injury Program, showed that the most common product groups related to brain injuries in children were related to sports and recreation (28.8 percent). Home furnishings and fixtures were linked to 17.2 percent of the injuries. Home structures and construction materials contributed to 17.1 percent of the injuries, child nursery equipment to 2.7 percent of injuries and toys, tied to 2.4 percent of the brain injuries.
The study said uneven flooring and prefabricated stairs often contribute to falls. Slipping, tipping and falling are very common and some falls could cause serious brain injuries, the study’s authors say. Traumatic brain injuries from home furnishings and fixtures, primarily beds, were highest among infants and children up to 4 years old, the study shows. On the other hand, brain injuries from sports were highest among kids ages 5 to 19.
Interestingly enough, the study also found that car seats were the fifth leading cause of traumatic head injuries in infants. This is usually the case when car seats are used outside the vehicle as baby carriers. Researchers recommended strategies to prevent these injuries such as removing tripping hazards, improving lighting, avoiding hard surfaces, and using stairway handles without sharp edges.
Protecting Your Rights
If your child is injured by a product that is dangerous or defective due to manufacturing, design or the manufacturer’s failure to warn, you may be able to seek compensation for the injuries, damages and losses caused. An experienced product defect lawyer will be able to advise you regarding your legal rights and options.