OBJECTIVE: To examine the epidemiological features of pediatric injuries related to falls from windows.
METHODS: By using the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, emergency department (ED) data for pediatric injury cases associated with window falls in 1990–2008 were reviewed.
RESULTS: An estimated 98 415 children (95% confidence interval [CI]: 82 416–114 419) were treated in US hospital EDs for window fall–related injuries during the 19-year study period (average: 5180 patients per year [95% CI: 4828–5531]). The mean age of children was 5.1 years, and boys accounted for 58.1% of cases. One-fourth (25.4%) of the patients required admission to the hospital. The annual injury rate decreased significantly during the study period because of a decrease in the annual injury rate among 0- to 4-year-old children. Children 0 to 4 years of age were more likely to sustain head injuries (injury proportion ratio [IPR]: 3.22 [95% CI: 2.65–3.91]) and to be hospitalized or to die (IPR: 1.65 [95% CI: 1.38–1.97]) compared with children 5 to 17 years of age. Children who landed on hard surfaces were more likely to sustain head injuries (IPR: 2.05 [95% CI: 1.53–2.74]) and to be hospitalized or to die (IPR: 2.23 [95% CI: 1.57–3.17]) compared with children who landed on cushioning surfaces.
CONCLUSIONS: To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate window fall–related injuries treated in US hospital EDs by using a nationally representative sample. These injuries are an important pediatric public health problem, and increased prevention efforts are needed, including development and evaluation of innovative prevention programs.
- Accepted May 19, 2011.
- Copyright © 2011 by the American Academy of Pediatrics