Researchers at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation analysed data generated between 2010 and 2013 at 66 emergency centres in the US.

Collectively, the data represented an estimated 4.1 million non-fatal traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in children and adolescents.

Around one in four TBIs among children aged one and under was caused by the infant falling from their bed, while 14 per cent were caused by trips or falls on the floor itself.

Meanwhile, older children more often suffered injuries outside, with American football and basketball among the major causes of TBI in adolescents.

The study follows on from a report by the US Centre for Disease Controls in 2018 which found that approximately one million infants and adolescents suffer TBIs per year in the US.

Dr Bina Ali, lead author of the study, said: “Structural designs, such as uneven flooring, often contribute to falls, which is the leading cause of traumatic brain injury in children.

“In most cases, infants and children are safe in bed and when playing sports outside, but our study highlights some of the risks and the priorities in different age groups for preventing serious head injuries.”

Dr Ali had some precautionary words to those who safeguard children. “Simple measures such as removing trip hazards, using stair gates and guard rails, 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,” she said.

According to the study, the top 10 leading products contributing to non-fatal TBIs in children of all ages are: 

  • Floors
  • Beds
  • Football
  • Stairs
  • Bicycles
  • Basketball
  • Ceilings and walls
  • Chairs
  • Soccer
  • Tables

The study was published in the Brain Injury journal.

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