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Adult-worn child carriers: a potential risk for injury


Objectives—To examine and describe types of injuries associated with adult-worn child carriers and illustrate the need for careful use of these products by parents.

Methods—A literature search for the terms infant carriers, backpack carriers, infant slings, baby carriers, and baby slings was conducted. Information was also obtained and tabulated from the three Consumer Product Safety Commission databases: the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), the In-Depth Investigations File, and the Injury/Potential Injury Incident File.

Results—No reports of injuries were found in the medical literature. In the NEISS database, 51 injuries were reported between January 1990 and September 1998. Of these injuries, 38 (74.5%) were head traumas and eight (15.7%) were facial trauma. Of the 51 injuries, 11 (22%) required hospitalization.

Conclusions—Based on the data presented in this paper, injuries associated with the use of adult-worn child carriers appear to come from three general sources: product appropriateness and design, product condition, and product use. It is important for health care providers to assist in the dissemination of information regarding the safe use of these products to parents in an effort to prevent injuries.

  • backpack carriers
  • infant carriers
  • infant slings
  • Consumer Product Safety Commission

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