A recent study shows more than 17,000 young children end up in the ER each year as a result of strollers and infant carriers (both baby-wearing carriers and the kind that build upper arm muscle when switching between a stroller and a car seat). Brain injuries made up 79% of the carrier-related injuries and 65% of the stroller-related injuries that led to hospitalization. Overall, the absolute risk of injuries from strollers and carriers in general remains very low: Injuries related to strollers, for example, declined slightly from 5.3 per 10,000 children a year in 1990 to 4.8 per 10,000 children per year in 2010. Further, about 95% of the injuries were not serious enough to warrant admission to the hospital. Still, the rate works out to two children every hour in public health terms.
Among nearly 262,000 stroller injuries, 42% of which occurred in children under 1 year old, 43% of the injuries were to the head, and 31% were to the face. Two in five of these involved soft-tissue injuries, but 25% were concussions or traumatic brain injuries—most often from simply hitting the ground. Carriers had an even higher rate of concussions and traumatic brain injuries—35% of the approximately 99,000 injuries analyzed from carriers. As would be expected, the vast majority of these children (89%) were under a year old, and again, high rates of injury occurred to the head (62%) and face (25%). Soft-tissue injuries comprised almost half (48%) of the overall injuries.