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Millions of children injured in falls from soft furniture

Photo of William Phillips 
William A. Phillips
Photo of David Liu 
David Liu

ORLANDO, Fla. — More than 2 million children were injured in falls from sofas and beds between 2007 and 2016, with the rates of injuries increasing during that 10-year period, according to a presentation at the AAP National Conference & Exhibition.

“We found that falls out of bed were very common — actually, two-and-a-half times as common as falls down stairs. They frequently happen in younger children, and rarely result in very serious injuries,” William A. Phillips, MD, a professor of orthopedic surgery and pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital, told Infectious Diseases in Children. “Although it was rare, we found that over a 10-year period, we could attribute about 3,000 deaths to the injuries, or about 100 a year.”

Phillips and colleagues analyzed data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission National Electronic Injury Surveillance System between 2007 and 2016 to estimate national rates of bed- and sofa-related injuries.

They reported that 2,300,255 children aged younger than 5 years were treated for injuries related to soft furniture during the study period, for an average of 230,026 injures per year and 115.2 injures per 10,000 population per year. Slightly more than 55% of the injuries occurred in boys. Soft tissue and lacerations were the most common injuries (28% and 24.2% of cases, respectively). The researchers reported that three-fifths of the injuries were to the head and neck and that 2.7% of the injured children were hospitalized. Infants aged younger than 1 year comprised more than 25% of all injuries and were more than 2 times as likely to be hospitalized compared with older children.

“We think that the soft furniture is safe, but it is apparently not,” David Liu, a fourth-year medical student at Baylor College of Medicine, told Infectious Diseases in Children.

The researchers reported an increase in the number and rate of sofa- and bed-related injuries between 2007 and 2016, increasing from 192,583, or 95.8 per 10,000 population, to 230,742, or 115.1 per 10,000 population. Injuries related to soft furniture were the most common injury for children aged younger than 5 years during the study period and were 2.5 times higher than stair-related injuries.

“Unfortunately, with stairs, parents can use a gate, but you cannot put a gate on a bed. People have to be mindful of placing a child on the edge of the bed. Beds can become indoor trampolines,” Phillips said. – by Bruce Thiel

Reference:

Bradko V, et al. Bed and sofa-related injuries to young children treated in US emergency departments 2007-2016. Presented at: AAP National Conference & Exhibition; Nov. 2-6, 2018; Orlando, Fla.

Disclosures : Liu and Williams report no relevant financial disclosures.

Photo of William Phillips 
William A. Phillips
Photo of David Liu 
David Liu

ORLANDO, Fla. — More than 2 million children were injured in falls from sofas and beds between 2007 and 2016, with the rates of injuries increasing during that 10-year period, according to a presentation at the AAP National Conference & Exhibition.

“We found that falls out of bed were very common — actually, two-and-a-half times as common as falls down stairs. They frequently happen in younger children, and rarely result in very serious injuries,” William A. Phillips, MD, a professor of orthopedic surgery and pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital, told Infectious Diseases in Children. “Although it was rare, we found that over a 10-year period, we could attribute about 3,000 deaths to the injuries, or about 100 a year.”

Phillips and colleagues analyzed data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission National Electronic Injury Surveillance System between 2007 and 2016 to estimate national rates of bed- and sofa-related injuries.

They reported that 2,300,255 children aged younger than 5 years were treated for injuries related to soft furniture during the study period, for an average of 230,026 injures per year and 115.2 injures per 10,000 population per year. Slightly more than 55% of the injuries occurred in boys. Soft tissue and lacerations were the most common injuries (28% and 24.2% of cases, respectively). The researchers reported that three-fifths of the injuries were to the head and neck and that 2.7% of the injured children were hospitalized. Infants aged younger than 1 year comprised more than 25% of all injuries and were more than 2 times as likely to be hospitalized compared with older children.

“We think that the soft furniture is safe, but it is apparently not,” David Liu, a fourth-year medical student at Baylor College of Medicine, told Infectious Diseases in Children.

The researchers reported an increase in the number and rate of sofa- and bed-related injuries between 2007 and 2016, increasing from 192,583, or 95.8 per 10,000 population, to 230,742, or 115.1 per 10,000 population. Injuries related to soft furniture were the most common injury for children aged younger than 5 years during the study period and were 2.5 times higher than stair-related injuries.

“Unfortunately, with stairs, parents can use a gate, but you cannot put a gate on a bed. People have to be mindful of placing a child on the edge of the bed. Beds can become indoor trampolines,” Phillips said. – by Bruce Thiel

Reference:

Bradko V, et al. Bed and sofa-related injuries to young children treated in US emergency departments 2007-2016. Presented at: AAP National Conference & Exhibition; Nov. 2-6, 2018; Orlando, Fla.

Disclosures : Liu and Williams report no relevant financial disclosures.

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