THURSDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Home safety devices
greatly reduce the number of injuries sustained by small children,
according to a new study.
Researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
looked at two groups of families with newborns. One set of families
had properly installed and maintained safety devices in their
homes, including stairway gates, cabinet locks, electrical outlet
covers, smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, safe storage for
knives and other sharp items, and hot water heaters set below 120
After two years of follow-up, children in the homes with the
safety devices had 70 percent fewer home-related injuries that
required medical attention than did the children in the other
A report on the findings was published in the April issue of
Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.
"The home environment is the most common location of injury for younger children," the study's lead investigator, Dr. Kieran J. Phelan, said in a medical center news release. "However, parents may not have the time, training or resources to obtain and install the best safety products. Considering the millions of trips to the emergency room and doctors' office visits each year for injuries in children, our data show that a tremendous amount of pain and suffering could be avoided and millions of dollars in health-care costs saved if a standard set of home safety measures were implemented on a broad scale."
He and his colleagues have expanded their research to include
groups of low-income, first-time mothers and their children, who
are considered to be at greater risk for injuries in the home.
Each year in the United States, about 2,800 children die from
preventable injuries in the home, and millions more are treated in
hospital emergency rooms, according to the researchers.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more