A new study published in the March/April edition of Public Health Nursing shows that the average number of injuries during the preschool years is two times higher for children who don’t get enough sleep each day as described by their mothers. The National Sleep Foundation recommends children 3 to 6 years get 11 or more hours of sleep per day.
Approximately 20% to 25% of all children in the United States incur injuries that demand medical attention each year.
The study, funded by the [removed]National Center for Injury Prevention and Control[/removed], was comprised of 300 mothers and their preschool children. For 2.5 years, the mothers reported on their child’s sleep. This information was combined with data on injuries acquired through self-reports and medical records.
This direct negative relationship between children’s sleep and injuries was significant even after taking into account factors such as maternal age, education and the child’s temper.
“The present findings provide support for a relationship between children’s sleep and injuries,” states an abstract of the study. “Improving children’s sleep hygiene may be an important component of parental interventions to reduce preschoolers’ unintentional injuries.”