Traumatic brain injuries among children and teens in the United States are most often associated with everyday consumer products and activities, such as home furnishings and fixtures or sports, according to a new study.
About 72% of traumatic brain injury-related emergency department visits among children are attributable to consumer products, found the study published in the journal Brain Injury on Monday.
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:
- ceilings and walls
The new study involved national estimates of approximately 4.1 million non-fatal traumatic brain injuries in children and adolescents in the United States between 2010 and 2013. The data came from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System and the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-All Injury Program.
The data showed that the most common product groups related to TBIs in children were related to sports and recreation, which was linked to 28.8% of injuries; home furnishings and fixtures, tied to 17.2% of injuries; home structures and construction materials, tied to 17.1% of injuries; child nursery equipment, tied to 2.7% of injuries, and toys, tied to 2.4%, among other products.
“Uneven flooring and prefabricated stairs often contribute to falls. Slipping, tripping and falling are very common. Some falls can cause serious head injuries,” said Bina Ali, a research scientist at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation in Maryland, who was first author of the study.
Traumatic brain injuries from home furnishings and fixtures, primarily beds, were highest among infants and children up to 4 years old. Whereas traumatic brain injuries from sports and recreation – especially football, bicycles and basketball – were highest among children ages 5 to 19.
“The findings were not very surprising. Infants and younger children are often indoors, so we see that the leading causes of their head injuries are home furnishings and fixtures,” Ali said.
“One interesting finding was that car seats is the fifth leading cause of traumatic head injuries in infants,” she said. “Car seats are effective in preventing injuries in infants when used properly in cars. However