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J Safety Res. 2005;36(4):327-32. Epub 2005 Sep 8.

An evaluation of the effectiveness of a baby walker safety standard to prevent stair-fall injuries.

Author information

1
Directorate for Economic Analysis, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814, United States. grodgers@cpsc.gov

Abstract

PROBLEM:

During the early 1990s the number of baby walker injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments averaged almost 25,000 annually; about 80% resulted from falls down stairs. After initiating a regulatory proceeding in 1994, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission staff worked with industry to develop requirements to address the stair-fall hazard. This study evaluates the effectiveness of the stair-fall requirements, which became effective in 1997 as part of a revised voluntary standard.

METHOD:

Annual baby walker emergency department injury rates were constructed for the 1981-2002 study period. A multivariate negative binomial regression model was used to estimate the effectiveness of the stair-fall requirements in reducing the injury rate.

RESULTS:

The stair-fall requirements reduced the emergency department injury rate by an estimated 63% (95% CI, 52% to 71%).

IMPACT ON INDUSTRY:

Given the substantial reduction in walker injuries, and the high level of industry conformance with the stair-fall requirements, the Commission terminated its regulatory proceeding in May, 2002. The success of the baby walker project highlights the ability of government and industry to work together cooperatively to develop effective safety improvements for consumer products.

PMID:
16150459
DOI:
10.1016/j.jsr.2005.06.010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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