For the study, Smith's team used data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System to identify the number of children injured in cribs, playpens and bassinets from 1990 to 2008.
During that period, the researchers identified almost 182,000 children under 2 who were treated in emergency rooms for injuries associated with these devices. That came to roughly 9,651 such injuries a year.
The researchers found that 83.2 percent of the injuries involved cribs, while playpens accounted for 12.6 percent of the injuries and bassinets accounted for 4.2 percent.
The most common cause of injury was falling from the crib, playpen or bassinet. These falls accounted for two-thirds of the injuries, Smith's group found.
The head and neck were the areas of the body that were most commonly injured, making up 40.3 percent of the injuries. Most injuries were soft tissue injuries (34.1 percent).
Kids with fractures were kept in the hospital 14 percent of the time and were more than five times more likely to be admitted than children with other injuries, Smith's group noted.
Smith believes the findings are a call to action to build better-designed cribs that protect children and make falls less likely.
Right now, parents should only use cribs that meet current standards. That includes cribs with no drop sides, which have been banned by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. So, parents have to be particularly careful with hand-me-down cribs, Smith said.
Smith also advises that when putting the baby in the crib be sure there is no bedding, stuffed toys or bumpers in the crib. "All these products have been associated with suffocation deaths," he said.
"Young infants need to be placed in a crib that's bare, just the child and the crib," he said. "Just dress the child warmly in a sleeper and place him into a bare crib."
"Despite these findings, cribs are still the safest sleeping env
All rights reserved