Stair Safety

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Stair-related injuries are on the decline but still represent an important source of injury to young children. Dr. Edward Hill takes a closer look at stair safety in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Every six minutes a young child is treated in the emergency room for a stair-related injury.

Research found an average of more than 93,000 children under the age of 5 were treated for stair-related injuries in an emergency room each year between 1999 and 2008. But the number of injuries decreased by about 12 percent during that time.

Researchers found that the number of young children who were injured while being carried on the stairs accounts for about a quarter of injuries among children under age 1. These children are also more than three times more likely to be hospitalized.

The majority of injuries were bruises and other soft tissue injuries. About three-fourths of the children had injuries to the head and neck area, and nearly 3 percent were hospitalized as the result of their injuries.

Stair gates are an important way to prevent children from using the stairs unsupervised, but parents should not rely on them exclusively.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.