Each year, CPSC releases a report compiling their injury and death data from nursery products. (They also do a similar report on toys.) The report released last week details injuries from 2007 and deaths through 2005 (hence the quotes around “new”).
The numbers haven’t changed much since last year’s report — about 62,500 children under age five were rushed to emergency rooms in 2007 for injuries related to nursery furniture — cribs, strollers, high chairs, etc. The items most frequently involved were infant carriers and car seat carriers (used outside of cars); cribs/mattresses; high chairs; and strollers. The largest injury category was falls, with the head the most frequently injured body part — 44% of the reported injuries involved the head.
Injuries are even or slightly down for many categories but up slightly for playpens and baby gates.
The most recent numbers CPSC is releasing on deaths are from 2005 — before the flurry of sleeping environment recalls that involved deaths. CPSC estimates an average of 79 deaths each year involving juvenile products. About 30 of those deaths involve cribs, with another 8 in bassinets and 11 involving playpens that are often used as sleep environments for babies. These statistics are a reminder that before using any sleep environment for your baby, check to make sure it is properly assembled, with no missing or broken hardware; that it has not been recalled; and then, remember, bare is best. Remove all soft bedding from a crib or bassinet and use only the mattress supplied or recommended by the manufacturer. Report problems with a nursery product to the manufacturer and CPSC.