New research centered around understanding the common causes of traumatic brain injuries in children found that roughly 3 out of 4 TBIs involve a consumer product registered with the US Consumer Protection Safety Commission. In today’s blog, we shine the spotlight on some of the most common household items that contribute to adolescent TBIs and how you can help prevent them.
Household Items and Childhood TBIs
It’s worth noting that many of these items are necessary in the household, but taking some small safety measures can help reduce the risk of your child suffering a TBI when encountering the object. Items linked to childhood TBIs include:
Home Constructs – Home construction materials were one area that was linked to childhood TBIs, and in that category falls things like hardwood floors and stairs. It’s hard to imagine a house without floors or stairs, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help to reduce the risk of injuries. Researchers say uneven floors and prefabricated stairs increased the risk of childhood TBIs. Parents should also consider investing in stair guards and handrails along staircases.
Sporting Equipment – Sports are a big contributor to childhood TBIs, especially things like swing sets and bicycles. Make sure your children are supervised and wearing protective headgear for the athletic activity.
Car Seats – Interestingly, car seats made the list as the item responsible for the fifth most TBIs among children. There’s no doubt that car seats prevent countless TBIs during automobile accidents each year, but researchers say they can also contribute to injuries when used incorrectly. Parents sometimes use multi-functional car seats a carriers and then place them on tables or counters while the child is in them. If they get bumped or moved, the whole carrier can fall and contribute to injury. Be cognizant of your child’s injury risk when using car seats as a carrier and avoid keeping them too far off the ground.
Beds, Tables and Chairs – Beds also come in as a leading cause of injury among very young children. Parents should also avoid letting children jump on their bed and consider adding fall guards to beds as children transition from a crib to a standard bed. Make sure tables and chairs are used for their correct function, not as a climbing accessory.
Now that you’re more aware of some of the common head injury risks in your home, make a plan to help reduce your child’s risk of TBI. Not every head injury is preventable, especially with oftentimes clumsy toddlers, but you owe them a certain level of protection against common hazards. We can certainly help diagnosis and treat head injuries and concussions, but we’d prefer you never need our services because you didn’t suffer a TBI in the first place.
For more information or to set up an appointment with our office, contact Dr. Chang today.