They have the highest probability of causing injury relative to all U.S. consumer products [unless you are under 18, see below 🙂 ].
How do Americans injure themselves?
This post aims to answer that question (at least in terms of consumer products) using data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. I split this data a few ways, eventually showing how likely one is to injure him or herself by a given item based on his or her age.
(Note that many of the top objects are simply those that we interact with most on a daily basis, meaning that it’s difficult to compare across objects since the occurrence differs from person to person; ideally, one would normalize for this, but I did not have data)
Stairs and floors cause the most consumer product injuries in the United States:
Injury distribution by age:
The above box plot shows the age distribution of the 10 most common causes of injury.
Essentially, this shows that Basketball and Football have a tight average age range for injury (medians of ~17 and 16, respectively), where more innocuous objects like floors, chairs, and beds skew towards the older population. Also interesting to see that a few 80+ year olds were injured by basketball and football related products. (For those unfamiliar with interpreting box plots, this website provides a great, succinct explanation.)
Elderly folks (>65 years old) are injured by common, unassuming things:
41-65 year-olds are also injured by unassuming things, along with knives, bicycles, and exercise:
Kids (18 and under) are more commonly injured by sports/activities rather than household objects:
Kids from 2-4 years old have the highest chance of being injured by a consumer product:
The above chart shows the % chance of a consumer product injury at any given age. Overall, chance of injury decreases with age.
However, there are a couple of spikes going against this trend:
- increased injury rate at ~16 years old – people become more heavily involved in sports, and are possibly adjusting to new growth spurts
- increased injury rate at ~50 years old – people fully approach middle age and begin more commonly injuring themselves with stairs/floors
2 to 4 year olds have a hard time with household objects, jewelry, and coins (take notes new and future parents!):