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Shapiro & Appleton

Children Injured by Defective Cribs and Playpens

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When the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a ban on drop-side cribs in December after millions of the products had been recalled, the federal rule raised questions about the safety of hundreds of items parents had previously taken for granted. Now, the results of a new survey suggest the number of injuries caused to children by cribs, playpens and bassinets may be much higher than previously thought.

Nearly 10,000 children a year are treated in hospitals for injuries related to cribs, Medlineplus reported. This means hundreds of infants in Virginia (VA) are being unnecessarily injured every year. The findings new study by researchers with the Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, examined injuries associated with cribs, playpens and bassinets among children younger than 2 years of age from 1990 through 2008. Over a 19-year study period, an average of 9,500 injuries and more than 100 deaths related to these products were seen in hospital emergency rooms in the United States each year.

According to the study, the majority of injuries -- 83 percent -- involved cribs. The most common injury diagnosis was soft-tissue injury (34 percent), followed by concussion or head injury (21 percent). The head or neck was the most frequently injured body region (40 percent), followed by the face (28 percent).

Our firm has previously reported on recalls of cribs. The three-month period between November 2009 and January 2010 saw four massive U.S. recalls of cribs and strollers because the products were killing and injuring infants and toddlers.

The list of child products recalls on the CPSC website names hundreds of products, ranging from hooded sweatshirts whose drawstrings can choke young wearers to cloth books that contain lead in their plastic inserts.

Even audio and baby monitors have been linked to the deaths of infants. Last month, the CPSC has announced the recall of more than 1.7 million audio and video baby monitors in the wake of two infants' deaths and the near-death of at least one other young boy, after infants were strangled by cords.

And last year more than 900,000 Graco highchairs were recalled after more than 100 infants were injured by collapses.

DM


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