Epidemiology of pediatric holiday-related injuries presenting to US emergency departments.
ABSTRACT The objective of this study was to calculate injury rates and describe the epidemiology of holiday-related injuries among children who were aged < or =19 years and presented to US emergency departments (EDs) from 1997 through 2006.
Data on holiday-related injuries obtained from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission's National Electronic Injury Surveillance System were analyzed.
From 1997 through 2006, an estimated 5,710,999 holiday-related injuries sustained by children who were aged < or =19 years presented to US EDs. The greatest number of injuries occurred on Labor Day followed by Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Halloween. Children who were younger than 5 years sustained a greater proportion of injuries than other age groups. The face, finger/hand, and head were the most commonly injured body parts. Lacerations, contusion/abrasions, fractures, and sprain/strains were the most common diagnoses. Overall, the majority of injuries that occurred on holidays were classified as sports and recreation-related. In addition, home structure-related and home furnishing-related injuries were prevalent. Injuries that were associated with fireworks were more likely to occur on the Fourth of July than any other holiday, yet fireworks accounted for only a small proportion of Fourth of July injuries.
Most injuries that were sustained on holidays and required ED treatment were not holiday-specific but were associated with more general activities. Parents should be aware that holidays present a risk not only for holiday-specific injuries but also for more general, "everyday" injuries.