Every year, about 800,000 children sustain brain injuries in the United States. A 2019 study revealed how common household products are often to blame for brain injuries in Virginia children.
The study published in the journal Brain Injury found more than 70% of traumatic brain injuries in children in Virginia and elsewhere are attributable to common consumer products. As well as household items, sports cause many injuries like concussions in young people. The study found the following 10 products are the leading contributors to non-deadly TBIs in children under 19.
- stairs in homes
- walls and ceilings
The new study considered the causes of 4.1 million TBIs in children and adolescents in the United States from 2010 to 2013. None of them resulted in deaths. Researchers culled the data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System.
Many of the brain injuries in Virginia children occur from sudden traumas such as jolts, bumps, or blows to the head. Younger children, as well as elderly people, are particularly vulnerable to falls when they may hit their heads on flooring.
Sports and recreational head injuries accounted for 28.8% of injuries to young people and fixtures and home furnishings accounted for 17.2%. The study linked children’s equipment to 2.7% of all injuries and toys to a further 2.4%.
Home furnishings account for an alarmingly high number of brain injuries in infants. Beds and other furnishings are the highest cause of TBIs among infants and children up to 4 years old. However, sports and recreation account for the highest number of mild traumatic brain injuries in the 5 to 19 age group. The most significant cause of TBIs is basketball, football, and cycling.
Bina Ali, a research scientist at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation in Maryland, the first author of the study, said uneven floors are a major cause of slip and fall accidents that result in brain injuries. She told CNN prefabricated stairs also caused falls that result in TBIs. She said:
“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.”
However, one device that’s meant to protect children is a cause of brain injuries to infants.
Car seats emerged from the study as the fifth leading cause of TBIs in infants. Although car seats are meant to protect younger children they can cause injuries when fitted incorrectly or used outside of cars as carriers. Sometimes parents place car seats on tables, countertops or chairs where they can fall to the ground.
The report lists strategies to curtail brain injuries in children from household furniture, fittings, and fixtures. These include better lighting in homes, the removal of tripping hazards like area rugs, no sharp edges in homes and avoiding play areas with hard surfaces.
How to Treat Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries in Children
In 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidelines on managing mild traumatic brain injuries in children.
They include periods of rest, cognitive testing, and standardized assessment for diagnosis. Parents should do everything in their power to prevent brain injuries in Virginia children.
Virginia also has strict rules relating to concussions in student athletes.
Each local school division must develop and update every two years its policies and procedures relating to the identification and handling of suspected concussions in student-athletes
Talk to a Virginia Children’s Brain Injury Lawyer After an Accident
The Smith Law Center is headed by Stephen M. Smith, an attorney who pioneered brain injury litigation in the United States. We are a nationally-recognized firm that takes on brain injury cases across the country. Oftentimes, a child’s brain injury is the fault of another party such as a reckless or drunk driver or an employee who leaves a trip hazard. Please call us today for a consultation at 757.244.7000.