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One Million Kids go to Emergencey Rooms each year due to Falls in the Home

Update Date: Dec 01, 2014 04:34 PM EST

Every year, more than one million children from the United States visit hospital emergency rooms due to falls that occur inside the home, a new study reported. The researchers added that children who fell from furniture, such as kitchen chairs, were more likely to have parents who did not use safety gates and did not educate their children about the dangers of climbing furniture.

For this study, researcher Denise Kendrick, D.M., of the University of Nottingham, England, and colleagues examined the number of incidents related to furniture. They looked at a total of 672 children up to four-years-old who were brought into the emergency department due to falls from furniture. These children were compared to 2,648 control participants.

Overall, 86 percent of the children had single injuries. The most common single injury, at 59 percent, was banging the head, followed by cuts and grazes that did not require stitches at 19 percent. 14 percent of the injuries were fractures. About 60 percent of cases were seen by doctors but did not require treatment. 29 percent of the cases needed to be treated, seven percent required follow-up appointments and four percent required hospitalization.

The researchers calculated that in 2005, falls cost about $439 million for hospitalized children and about $643 million for emergency department visits

"If our estimated associations are causal, some falls from furniture may be prevented by incorporating fall-prevention advice into child health surveillance programs, personal child health records, home safety assessments and other child health contacts. Larger studies are required to assess association between use of bunk beds, baby walkers, playpens, stationary activity centers and falls," the researchers concluded according to the press release.

The study was published in JAMA Pediatrics

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