Researchers Rank Top Causes of Brain Injuries in Kids

Falling from beds, tripping on floors, and playing football are commonly cited in ERs
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2019 9:40 AM CDT
A Leading Cause of Infant Brain Injuries: Car Seats
Stock photo.   (Getty/jm1366)

A comprehensive new report on the causes of brain injuries in children finds that falls from beds and trips on uneven floors are top causes in the youngest of kids, but football emerges as a leader among older ones, reports HealthDay News. The study in the journal Brain Injury breaks down common causes in different age groups from infants to age 19, and one of the surprises came in the infant category. It turns out that the fifth leading cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI) for babies is car seats, study author Bina Ali of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation in Maryland tells CNN. The twist is that the injuries occurred outside the car—when parents were toting their children around in the car seat and left it on a table or countertop, from which it fell. Here's a breakdown of findings, based on ER visits:

  • Infants to 1 year: Falls from beds (25%) were the top cause of TBI, followed by trips on floors (14%), per a release at EurekAlert.
  • 1 to 4 years: Beds, floors, and stairs each accounted for 10% of brain injuries. Researchers said bunk beds in particular were seen as risky.
  • 5 to 9: Floors (6%) were still the top cause, with bicycle accidents second at 5%.
  • 10-14: Football took over as the leading cause at 14%, with basketball second at 6%. Other reasons included bicycles (5%) and soccer (5%).
  • 15-19: Football remained at the top (9%), and basketball was still second (5%). Soccer was at 4% and bicycles were at 3%.
  • Advice: "Simple measures such as removing trip hazards, using stair gates and guardrails, avoiding hard-surface playgrounds, and wearing helmets could help reduce the risk of injury, as well as adult education to ensure proper use of consumer products and adherence to safety guidelines," says Ali.
(More brain injuries stories.)

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