In a study published in the journal Pediatrics, researchers reviewed 20 years of records for children age 3 and under who were treated in emergency rooms nationwide. Between 1991 and 2010 they found 45,398 children were treated for injuries involving pacifiers, bottles and sippy cups. That’s approximately 2,270 yearly. In 86% of the cases falling down contributed to the injury. Bottles were involved 65.8% of the time, pacifiers 19.9% and sippy cups 14.3%. The injuries were cuts and bruises to the mouth, lip and tongue, as well as dental injuries. It seems drinking is something young children should “take sitting down”.
Another study published in Pediatrics found there were approximately 66,000 battery-related, emergency room visits by children under age 18 from 1990 to 2009. In fact, the number doubled from 2,591 in 1990 to 5,525 in 2009; and button batteries accounted for 84% of the ingestions. In addition to choking, button batteries can get stuck in the esophagus and burn holes through it, leading to chronic breathing problems and infections. These coin-shaped batteries are in toys, greeting cards, watches, remote controls and more. Although the average age was 4, children of all ages find it hard to “watch their mouth”.
The risk of 16- and 17-year-old drivers being killed in a crash increases with each additional passenger under age 21. According to AAA, the risk increases 44% with 1 passenger under 21, doubles with 2 and quadruples with 3. However, having at least 1 passenger age 35 or older cuts a teen’s risk of death by 62% and the risk of involvement in a police-reported crash by 46%. Parents can make teens safer by not allowing them to get into a car with other young people – whether they’re driving or a passenger – but that’s a hard point to “drive home”.
Finally, California teens eat less than their peers in the other 49 states. According to a 2012 study published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, California teens eat 158 fewer calories daily. This is because they consume fewer calories at school. California has strict limits on snack foods sold in schools and in 2009 the state banned the sale of soda and other sweetened beverages in high schools. Consuming an extra 158 calories daily doesn’t sound like much, but over a year it equals 15 pounds. All children are in school to broaden their minds – not their bodies.