MONDAY, Sept. 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Following implementation of a federal mandatory safety standard on infant walkers in 2010, there was a decrease in the number of infant walker-related injuries, according to a study published online Sept. 17 in Pediatrics.

Ariel Sims, from the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and colleagues analyzed data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System from 1990 to 2014 to examine the epidemiologic characteristics of infant walker-related injuries among children aged younger than 15 months who were treated in U.S. emergency departments.

An estimated 230,676 children were treated for infant walker-related injuries from 1990 to 2014. The researchers found that 90.6 percent of the children sustained head or neck injuries and 74.1 percent were injured by falling down the stairs in an infant walker. Overall, 37.8 percent of the 4.5 percent of patients who were admitted to the hospital had a skull fracture. There were decreases in overall infant walker-related injuries and injuries related to falling down the stairs from 1990 to 2003 (84.5 and 91.0 percent, respectively). Compared with the four-year period before implementation of the federal mandatory safety standard, during the four-year period after implementation the average number of injuries decreased by 22.7 percent (P = 0.019).

“Despite the decline in injuries, infant walkers remain an important and preventable source of injury among young children, which supports the American Academy of Pediatrics’ call for a ban on their manufacture and sale in the United States,” the authors write.

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