Head injuries in infants: the risks of bouncy chairs and car seats

Arch Dis Child. 2002 Mar;86(3):168-9. doi: 10.1136/adc.86.3.168.


Aims: To establish whether the incorrect use of bouncy chairs (BC) and car seats (CS) is a significant cause of injuries in babies.

Methods: Prospective study over a 12 month period. All babies under the age of 1 year, presenting to the department with a head injury were eligible.

Results: A total of 131 cases were recorded, 17 (13%) of which were associated with either BC or CS, the second largest aetiological group. All BC cases (11/11, 100%) were caused by a fall from a surface with the baby in the chair. In the CS group, 2/6 (33%) were caused by such a fall. The carer was aware in only one of the 13 cases involving a fall from a surface that there was any chance of injury from this mechanism.

Conclusion: Falls from inappropriately placed bouncy chairs or car seats form a significant proportion of head injuries in infants, resulting in unnecessary and preventable morbidity.

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls
  • Accidents, Home / statistics & numerical data
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / etiology*
  • Equipment Failure / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Equipment / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors