Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Parenting

Font Size

Child Injured on Stairs Every 6 Minutes

Children Being Carried Down the Stairs Are 3 Times More Likely to Be Hospitalized
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

March 12, 2012 -- Every six minutes a young child in the U.S. is treated in the emergency room for a stair-related injury, according to a new study.

Overall, researchers say an average of more than 93,000 children under the age of 5 were treated for stair-related injuries in an emergency room each year between 1999 and 2008. But the number of injuries decreased by about 12% during that time.

Researchers found that the number of young children who were injured while being carried on the stairs accounts for about a quarter of injuries among children under age 1. These children are also more than three times more likely to be hospitalized as a result of their injuries than children who were injured in other ways.

“Stair-related injuries are on the decline but still represent an important source of injury to young children,” write researcher Ashley Zielinsky of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and colleagues in Pediatrics. “Increased prevention efforts are needed, including parental education and improved stairway design.”

Stair Safety Still an Issue

In the study, researchers analyzed information from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System of the Consumer Product Safety Commission from 1999 to 2008.

The results showed an estimated 931,886 children under the age of 5 were treated for stair-related injuries in U.S. emergency rooms during the study period.

Most of the injuries occurred as a result of the child falling down the stairs on his or her own. But 25% of children under age 1 were injured while they were carried on the stairs, and 16% fell in a baby walker.

The majority of injuries were bruises and other soft tissue injuries, which accounted for 35% of injuries. About three-fourths of the children had injuries to the head and neck area, and nearly 3% were hospitalized as the result of their injuries.

In addition, an estimated10,000-plus injuries were reported when children fell down the stairs in a stroller or carriage. In many cases, the child was strapped in, but it was not enough to prevent injuries.

Today on WebMD

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
mother and daughter talking
child brushing his teeth
Sipping hot tea
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
rl with friends
tissue box
Child with adhd