Baby walker injury, disability, and death in a high-income middle eastern country, as reported by siblings

Peter Barss, Michal Grivna, Amna Al-Hanaee, Ayesha Al-Dhahab, Fatima Al-Kaabi, Shamma Al-Muhairi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Baby walkers (BWs) are frequent causes of infant injuries. Little research is reported from the Middle East and few population-based studies anywhere. Methods: Using multistage random sampling in a city of the United Arab Emirates, 4 of 8 female Arab government high schools and 3 final-year classes each from science and arts tracks were selected. Structured self-administered questionnaires assessed prevalence, frequency, severity, and external causes of BW incidents and injuries, and residential hazards. Results: Response was 100 %, 696 students, 55 % (n = 385) Emirati citizens. 87 % (n = 605) of families used/had used BWs. Among 646 injuries were 118 ER (emergency) visits, 42 hospitalizations, 11 disabilities, and 3 deaths. Average risk was 1 incident/user, 1 injury/4 users, 1 ER visit/20, 1 hospitalization/55, 1 disability/200, 1 death/1000. Odds ratios for >1:1 floor levels were 2.3 (95 % confidence interval: 1.2, 4.3) for hospitalization, 16.8 (95 % CI: 2.1, 132.5) disability. Incidents included hitting objects 48 % (n = 1322), overturning 23 % (n = 632), accessing hazardous objects 17 % (n = 473), and falling down stairs 11 % (n = 300); 1 % (n = 32) fell into swimming pools. In 49 % (n = 297/605) of user families, ≥1 child had been injured. Conclusions: Despite causing many injuries including disabilities and fatalities, BWs were used by nearly all families. Governments should consider Canada’s lead in prohibiting importation, sales, and advertising of BWs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17
JournalInjury Epidemiology
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2016

Keywords

  • Baby walker
  • Babywalker
  • Child injury
  • Disability
  • Epidemiology
  • Falls
  • Infant walker
  • Mortality
  • Prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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