Traumatic brain injuries can have effects that last a lifetime. Teenagers who suffer sudden jolts, bumps, or blows that result in TBI may face a much longer road in overcoming the challenges set before them.
While most TBIs result from athletics and related equipment, a new study reveals that everyday items such as furniture and fixtures also play a significant role in injuring young people. Research showed that from 2010 to 2013, 72 percent of emergency department visits by kids from younger than a year to 19 years old could trace the injury back to specific consumer products.
While the top ten led with athletic equipment that includes footballs, basketballs, soccer balls at 28.8 percent, the remaining products are items that young people are exposed to at home daily.
- Home furnishings and fixtures, including chairs tables and beds – 17.2 percent
- Home structures, including floors, walls, ceilings, and stairs – 17.1 percent
- Child nursery equipment – 2.7 percent
- Toys – 2.4 percent
Not all accidents at home can be attributed to clumsiness. Poorly installed flooring and stairs play a role in slips, trips, and falls, resulting in everything from minor scrapes to severe head injuries.
Traumatic brain injuries at home are most common in the bedroom with children up to four years old being the most common victims. Young people aged 5 to 19 are at the top of the sports-related TBI category.
A troubling statistic that emerged involved the misuse of car seats. While manufacturers have employed significant improvements in safety and the restraints now carrying an “expiration date,” car seats used as defacto baby carriers and not for their express purposes can result in head injuries to infants.
Improving in-home conditions through better lighting and safety devices is a good start. However, those in the business of building dwellings and marketing products for the home must also maintain the highest standards of quality.