• Preventing unintentional injury in children and adolescents--the importance of local injury data collection.

      O'Carroll, C; Egleston, C; Nicholson, A J; Department of Paediatrics and Emergency Medicine, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital,, Drogheda, Co Louth. (2012-02-01)
      We sought to prospectively study all injuries in children and adolescents up to 16 years of age presenting to a regional Emergency Department (ED), to ascertain detailed injury patterns and to use this data to recommend injury prevention priorities. Electronic injury surveillance was prospectively collected over a 10 year period (1997-2007) in a hospital with a paediatric catchment population of 75,000 in a region with pockets of high social deprivation. All fatalities were obtained from data provided by the Central Statistics Office (CSO). Over a 10 year period, there were 31 fatalities, 5,408 admissions and 40,817 new attendances due to injury. Males outnumbered females in a 3:2 ratio. Of all injuries 24,317 (60%) occurred at home. Peak injury presentation time was in the evening between 18:00 and 20:00. Minor injuries (bruises, minor head injuries, lacerations and sprains) accounted for 32,456 (80%) of total. Fractures resulting from high falls (n=1,194) tended to result from bunk beds, staircases, horses, walls and playground equipment. Burns (n=630) involved hot liquids (tea, coffee), hot bath water, hot cooking oil and hot cooking plates. Pedestrian injuries (n=251) were predominantly 'dart outs' in urban areas. Car passenger injuries (n=869) showed low rates of documented car restraint use. Poisonings (n= 1,153) were predominantly medicinal products. Cyclist injuries (n=477) indicated low documented use of appropriate helmet wear. Prevention priorities should focus on home injuries, hot liquid burn and scald injuries and high falls from walls, beds and playground equipment. To prevent road-related injuries and deaths, further legislation, urban planning and greater police enforcement is required.