Finds Parents Rarely Use Baby Gates, Bath Thermometers
SAN FRANCISCO - April 30. 2006 - A recent study by researchers in
medicine at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center found
parents use baby gates and bath thermometers less than 25 percent
of the time and pediatricians are partially to blame.
American Academy of Pediatrics
(AAP) recommends that primary care physicians discuss The Injury
Prevention Program (TIPP) with parents during the four to
six month check-up. TIPP sheets include safety devices such as baby
gates, window guards, smoke detectors, car seats and bath thermometers.
prevent unnecessary trips to the emergency room, primary care providers
should thoroughly discuss all recommended safety devices with parents,"
said Winnie Whitaker, MD, a pediatric emergency medicine fellow
at Cincinnati Children's and lead author of the study.
parents surveyed by researchers at Cincinnati Children's say that
only happens in less than one out of every three cases.
Dr. Whitaker, "We found that safety devices parents commonly
use are discussed more than other less familiar devices."
Whitaker presented the findings at the annual meeting of the Pediatric
Academic Societies on Sunday, April 30.
study focused on 140 parents who had their child evaluated by a
primary care physician for a routine examination at four to six
months old. The majority of parents surveyed in the Pediatric Primary
Care Center at Cincinnati Children's reported being educated about
safety devices for less than five minutes, with the average length
of education being 3.7 minutes. Of these, baby gates, window guards
and bath thermometers were discussed 35 percent of the time or less
while 54 percent of parents recalled being educated about smoke
detectors. Car seats were most commonly discussed at 75 percent
of the time.
there are as many as 10.4 million emergency room visits by children
as the result of in-home accidents.
than half of all nonfatal injuries to children are from falls, according
to the National SAFE KIDS Campaign.
Many of these falls involve unprotected stairways, which can be
blocked by secure baby gates.
24,000 children in the United States are treated in hospital emergency
rooms every year for burns caused by scalding associated with hot
liquids or steam. Scald burns are the number one cause of burns
to children under age four. Young children have thinner skin resulting
in deeper burns at lower temperatures than adults. The proportion
of a child's body that can be easily exposed to burns is also greater.
Cincinnati Children's physicians recommend that before baby's bath
time, parents check the bath water with their elbow (not the hand,
which is less sensitive) or buy a bathtub thermometer. Bath water
temperature should be comfortably warm, about 90 degrees and the
maximum temperature of the household water heater should be set
at 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
caregivers are only routinely discussing car seats and smoke detectors,
these are two devices that have been shown in the literature to
reduce the risk of death," said Dr. Whitaker. "The good
news is that it seems like doctors are discussing, and parents are
compliant with the devices most likely to save a child's life."
study is part of a larger study funded by the Injury
Free Coalition for Kids at Cincinnati Children's.
Cincinnati Children's is a 475-bed institution devoted to bringing
the world the joy of healthier kids. Cincinnati Children's is dedicated
to transforming the way health care is delivered by providing care
that is timely, efficient, effective, family-centered, equitable
and safe. It ranks third nationally among all pediatric centers
in research grants from the National Institutes of Health. The Cincinnati
Children's vision is to be the leader in improving child health.
For more information, visit www.cchmc.org
Injury Free Coalition for Kids
Injury Free Coalition for Kids at Cincinnati Children's is a multi-disciplinary
group composed of hospital personnel, including physicians, nurses
and paramedics as well as community leaders and residents. The organization
was formed in 2000 to prevent unintentional injuries among children
living in at-risk neighborhoods through a variety of community-based
interventions. The program is modeled after the national Injury
Free Coalition for Kids started by Dr. Barbara Barlow at New York's
Harlem Hospital in 1984.