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Consumer products cause most traumatic brain injuries in kids

A recent study provides a reality check about traumatic brain injuries in children and adolescents. Most of these surprisingly common bumps and blows that damage the brain involve completely ordinary activities and common consumer products found in and around virtually every home, vehicle, school and workplace.

Age effects where and how TBIs happen

Between 800,00 and one million traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are inflicted on children and teens every year.

According to the major new study, younger children tend to suffer TBIs in the home from furniture and fixtures, since most young children spend most of their time indoors. After the age of 5 or so and throughout their teens, kids become able and permitted to roam. Their injuries begin to happen outdoors, especially from recreation like sports and bicycling.

Ten products and activities cause most TBIs in kids

Despite decades of legal action to recover damages and encourage better consumer product safety, it may surprise you that consumer products remain responsible for most TBIs.

About 72% of emergency room visits for TBIs involve only ten ordinary household items or normal activities. Those Big Ten culprits are :

  • Floors.
  • Beds.
  • Stairs.
  • Bicycling.
  • Football.
  • Basketball.
  • Soccer.
  • Chairs.
  • Tables.
  • Ceilings or Walls.

For infants and children less than five years old, beds are the primary issue, with other household fixtures also playing major roles. For children five and older, football, basketball and bikes increasingly send young people to the emergency room for brain injuries.

Researchers underline misuse of car seats

The research report was published in the medical journal Brain Injury. When its author discussed their findings with reporters, they called out car seats as an especially “interesting” cause of TBIs in children.

While car seats are effective when used correctly, they said, the risk of traumatic brain injury is increased when these seats are used as baby carriers especially placed on tabletops and countertops.

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