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More Kids Being Hurt by Falling Furniture

by The Kid's Doctor Staff

The number of children being injured by furniture falling on them continues to increase. A new study shows between 1990 and 2007 and estimated 264,200 U.S. children were treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries caused by furniture tipping. That’s approximately 15,000 per year according to the study published in the May 2009 online issue of Clinical Pediatrics.

The study also showed that about 300 children died of their injuries.

According to the study’s analysis of data collected by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the number of children injured by falling televisions, shelves and dressers has risen 41 percent since the early 1990s.

Researchers say they are not sure what has lead to the increase. Possibilities might include changes in furniture or television design or more furniture in homes or the statistical change could stem from parents taking children to the hospital more readily than they did years ago.

“What we do know is there’s a trend we need to pay attention to,” said Dr. Gary A Smith, director of the Center of Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio and senior author of the study. “Forty children a day are rushed to an emergency department because a heavy piece of furniture fell on them.”

About 75 percent of the injuries recorded in the study were to children 6 years of age and younger. Boys were at greater risk than girls, accounting for 56 percent of those injured. The most common type of injury was to the head and neck. The most common culprit was a falling TV, which caused about half of the injuries.

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