As babies become mobile, walking or running while carrying a bottle, pacifier or sippy cup may pose a higher danger than once thought, HealthDay reports.
According to a recent national survey, more than 45,000 visits to hospital ERs between 1991 and 2010 in children under 3 years old were linked to injuries caused by such products. The bulk of the reported injuries involved children between the ages of 1 and 2 who were holding a bottle when they fell.
"A lot of parents baby-proof their house but don't ever think about the possibility of an injury related to these products," said study lead author Sarah Keim, a researcher at Nationwide Children's Hospital.
To best avoid these kinds of injuries, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests parents wean their children from a bottle to a cup after about 12 months, and pacifiers after about 6 months.
"Following these recommendations might also help reduce injury, so all the more reason to follow them," Keim added,
Parents can also be proactive in helping prevent toddler injuries by remaining in the room while children are holding or using any of these products, especially once babies become fully mobile.
To complete the study, Keim and her research team analyzed data from the U.S. Electronic Injury Surveillance System, which is comprised of about 100 hospitals around the country that keep tabs on injuries caused by consumer products. The data showed 2,283 cases of bottle, pacifier and sippy cup injuries in the studied period.
About 66 percent of the injuries were caused by bottles, the researchers noted, leading them to speculate about the exact cause.
"There could be something about the products themselves that are potentially more dangerous or that children are using them more," Keim said.