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Pediatric Shopping-Cart-Related Injuries Not Decreasing

From 1990 to 2011, more than 200 percent increase in annual concussion/closed head injury rate

THURSDAY, Jan. 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- From 1990 to 2011, there was no decrease seen in shopping-cart-related injuries among children younger than 15 years treated in U.S. emergency departments, with a significant increase seen in the annual concussion/closed head injury rate, according to a study published online Dec. 17 in Clinical Pediatrics.

Keith J. Martin, from the Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and colleagues conducted a retrospective analysis of data from the National Injury Surveillance System. The authors sought to assess the effect of the 2004 U.S. shopping cart safety standard on shopping-cart-related injuries among children younger than 15 years.

From 1990 to 2011, the researchers identified an estimated 530,494 children aged younger than 15 years who were treated in U.S. emergency departments for shopping-cart-related injuries, averaging 24,113 children annually and equivalent to 66 children per day. The head was the most commonly injured body region (78.1 percent). From 1990 to 2011, there was a significant 213.3 percent increase in the annual concussion/close head injury rate per 10,000 children, from 0.64 to 2.02 (P < 0.001).

"Although a shopping cart safety standard was implemented in the United States in 2004, the overall number and rate of injuries associated with shopping carts have not decreased," the authors write. "In fact, the number and rate of concussions/closed head injuries have continued to climb. Increased prevention efforts are needed to address these injuries among children."

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