Playground injuries more severe than motor vehicle accidents

July 24, 2001

Injuries due to falls from playground equipment result in a higher proportion of severe injuries than either bicycle or motor vehicle crashes, according to a new Children's Hospital Medical Center of Cincinnati study of emergency department visits throughout the United States.

Injury prevention efforts targeting schools and 5- to 9-year-old children may have the greatest impact in reducing emergency visits for playground injuries, according to Kieran J. Phelan, M.D., the study's lead author and a physician in the division of General and Community Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children's.

The study is published in the current edition of Ambulatory Pediatrics.

"Although visits to emergency rooms by children and adolescents for injuries due to falls from playground equipment appear to be decreasing, they remain a common unintentional mechanism of injury," says Dr. Phelan. "Most of the injuries were minor, but a higher proportion of playground injuries were moderate to severe compared to injuries due to motor vehicles, bicycles or all falls."

Emergency visits for playground injuries fell from 187,000 in 1992 to 98,000 in 1997, according to the study.

It had been estimated that children make 200,000 emergency department visits each year in the United States due to falls from playground equipment. These injuries account for 15-20 deaths each year.

Using data from the National Center for Health Statistics, Dr. Phelan studied visits to emergency departments throughout the United States between 1992 and 1997 for children and adolescents less than 20-years-old who fell from playground equipment. Playground falls made up 920,551 of the more than 68 million emergency visits for injuries in children in the United States during the six-year study.

Fall related injuries accounted for the greatest proportion of injury visits -- 25 percent. Playground falls accounted for 5.3 percent of all fall-related injury visits. The average number of emergency visits from playground falls each year was about 153,000. Most playground falls, 40 percent, occurred at school. About 25 percent occurred in the home, and about 9 percent in public parks or recreation areas.

"Children in the 5-9 year age group had significantly higher rates of emergency visits for playground falls," says Dr. Phelan. "They were three times as likely to have an emergency visit as children 10 to 14 years old. Playgrounds provide obvious benefits for children, but they should be engineered to provide safety from falls, including rubberized or other soft surfaces to absorb the impact."
-end-


Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

Related Children Articles from Brightsurf:

Black and Hispanic children in the US have more severe eczema than white children
A presentation at this year's virtual American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting reveals the disparities that exist for Black and Hispanic children when it comes to Atopic Dermatitis (AD), commonly known as eczema.

Black children with cancer three times less likely to receive proton radiotherapy than White children
A retrospective analysis led by investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital has found racial disparities in the use of the therapy for patients enrolled in trials.

The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health: First Europe-wide study of children confirms COVID-19 predominately causes mild disease in children and fatalities are very rare
Children with COVID-19 generally experience a mild disease and fatalities are very rare, according to a study of 582 patients from across Europe published today in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health journal.

Children not immune to coronavirus; new study from pandemic epicenter describes severe COVID-19 response in children
- While most children infected with the novel coronavirus have mild symptoms, a subset requires hospitalization and a small number require intensive care.

How many children is enough?
Most Russians would like to have two children: a boy and a girl.

Preterm children have similar temperament to children who were institutionally deprived
A child's temperament is affected by the early stages of their life.

Only-children more likely to be obese than children with siblings
Families with multiple children tend to make more healthy eating decisions than families with a single child.

Children living in countryside outperform children living in metropolitan area in motor skills
Residential density is related to children's motor skills, engagement in outdoor play and organised sports. that Finnish children living in the countryside spent more time outdoors and had better motor skills than their age peers in the metropolitan area.

Hispanic and black children more likely to miss school due to eczema than white children
In a study that highlights racial disparities in the everyday impact of eczema, new research shows Hispanic and black children are more likely than white children to miss school due to the chronic skin disease.

Children, their parents, and health professionals often underestimate children's higher weight status
More than half of parents underestimated their children's classification as overweight or obese -- children themselves and health professionals also share this misperception, according to new research being presented at this year's European Congress on Obesity (ECO) in Glasgow, UK (April 28-May 1).

Read More: Children News and Children Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.