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Health Hazards Faced By Small Children

In a series of studies published in the August issue of Pediatrics, researchers have noted how things such as shopping carts// to lawn movers posed increased health hazards to small children.

Lead researcher Dr. Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Columbus Children's Hospital in Ohio said that "We live in a world that has been designed by adults primarily for the convenience of adults, and the safety of children is often not thought of, that's why we have incompatibilities in the environment between children and everything from different types of consumer products to activities that put them at increased risk."

First study on shopping cart-related injuries found that more than 20,000 children were treated in the emergency rooms due to these injuries and of these about 3 percent of them had suffered injuries because they were not properly strapped in. Simple preventive measures like use of child restraints and differently designed carts that seat children closer to the floor helped prevent these injuries.

A second study found an average of 9,400 children treated in hospital emergency departments each year for lawn mower-related injuries. The injuries occurred when kids operate the mower or fall off riding on parent's lap into the blade or when parents back up over a child. Measures like installing a “no-mow-in-reverse” option can help prevent such injuries.

“Cuts” seemed to be the most common injury in another study on escalator-related injuries. Researches found most of the children suffering from these injuries were younger than 5. A reduction in gap between escalator steps and the sidewall, and avoiding transporting children on stroller while on escalator have been recommended by authors to prevent such injuries.

The final study found ice skating more dangerous than roller skating or in line skating in causing injuries to children. Researches have advised wearing helme ts and wrist guards especially when ice-skating to prevent head and facial injuries.

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