228953 Analysis of pediatric falls by age

Monday, November 8, 2010

Purnima Unni, MPH, CHES , Pediatric Surgery &Trauma Program, Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, Nashville, TN
Stephen Morrow, MD , Pediatric Surgery &Trauma Program, Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, Nashville, TN
Matthew Locklair, MD , Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, Nashville, TN
Background: Falls are the leading cause of unintentional injuries among children. The mechanism and nature of injuries from falls tends to vary by age. A systematic investigation of these differences is needed to develop age-appropriate injury prevention strategies. Methods: Retrospective analysis of data (October 2006-April 2009) from the trauma registry of a level one pediatric trauma center. Inclusion criteria: Patients admitted due to fall-related injury below15 years of age (n = 675). In-depth analysis of data from medical charts was also carried out to examine circumstances of different falls.

Results: Most pediatric fall-related injuries (73%) occurred between 1 and 9 years of age. Although infants accounted for only 8% of fall injuries, a greater proportion of these children were more severely injured. The mean Injury Severity Score for infants was significantly greater than the overall average (11.27 vs. 9.17; p < 0.001). Most infant falls were from counter tops and furniture. For 1 4 year old children, falls were mainly from playground equipment, stairs, furniture, and tripping. For 5 9 year olds, falls from playground equipment (slides and monkey bars) and trampolines were the most common. For 10 14 year olds, falls were predominantly from skateboards, trampolines, and playground equipment. Falls occurred mostly at home or school.

Conclusions: The nature of fall injuries varies across age groups. Therefore, injury prevention efforts need to be clearly age-appropriate in terms of focus, target audience, and setting. Recommendations for injury prevention are discussed.

Learning Objectives:
1.Describe the nature of injuries from falls among children. 2.Explain implications for fall injury prevention efforts for different age groups of children.

Keywords: Pediatrics, Injury Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I oversee the Pediatric Trauma Injury Prevention Program at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.