COLUMBUS, Ohio, May 26 (UPI) -- More than 3,500 injuries to children each year are linked to crutches, wheelchairs and walkers, U.S. researchers said.
Researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, found the annual number of injuries due to mobility aids -- crutches, wheelchairs, and walkers -- has increased 23 percent over a 19-year-period.
The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, showed 60 percent of these mobility aid-related injuries occur in the home.
The researchers noted children who used crutches were more likely to sustain injuries to the arms and legs and children who used walkers or wheelchairs had a higher likelihood of sustaining injuries to the head and of being hospitalized. They were also three times more likely to be diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury.
"The associations between injury characteristics and type of mobility aid may be a result of the limitations of the children who were using the various aids," study author Lara McKenzie said in a statement.
"Crutch users typically have fewer cognitive, stability and functional limitations than walker and wheelchair users."