To describe the epidemiology of injuries related to cribs, playpens, and bassinets among young children in the United States.
A retrospective analysis was done using data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System for children younger than 2 years of age treated in emergency departments in the United States from 1990 through 2008 for an injury associated with cribs, playpens, and bassinets.
An estimated 181 654 (95% confidence interval: 148 548–214 761) children younger than 2 years of age were treated in emergency departments in the United States for injuries related to cribs, playpens, and bassinets during the 19-year study period. There was an average of 9561 cases per year or an average of 12.1 injuries per 10 000 children younger than 2 years old per year. Most of the injuries involved cribs (83.2%), followed by playpens (12.6%) and bassinets (4.2%). The most common mechanism of injury was a fall from a crib, playpen, or bassinet, representing 66.2% of injuries. Soft-tissue injuries comprised the most common diagnosis (34.1%), and the most frequently injured body region was the head or neck (40.3%). Patients with fractures were admitted 14.0% of the time, making them 5.45 (95% confidence interval: 3.80–7.80) times more likely to be hospitalized than patients with other types of injury. Children younger than 6 months were 2.97 (95% confidence interval: 2.07–4.24) times more likely to be hospitalized than older children.
This study is the first to use a nationally representative sample to examine injuries associated with cribs, playpens, and bassinets. Given the consistently high number of observed injuries, greater efforts are needed to ensure safety in the design and manufacture of these products, ensure their proper usage in the home, and increase awareness of their potential dangers to young children.