Lawnmower injuries in the United States: 1996 to 2004
ABSTRACT We update the epidemiology of lawnmower injuries, together with leading mechanisms of lawnmower injury in the United States, for the entire age range by using nationally representative data.
Data were obtained from the National Hospital Discharge Survey 1996-2003 and the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System 1996-2004.
Individuals in the 60- to 69-year age group had the highest push mower injury incidence in 2004, whereas those in the 70 years and older age group had the highest riding mower injury incidence. Children younger than 15 years also had a substantial injury incidence. Individuals in the 15- to 19-year age group had the highest rate of hospitalizations caused by lawnmower injuries from 1996 through 2003, with 0.72 per 100,000 person-years (95% confidence interval 0.07 to 1.36). Debris from under the mower hitting a body part or entering the eye was the most common mechanism for lawnmower injury. The second most common mechanism of injury was nonspecific pain onset after the ordinary operation of the mower. Fracture of 1 or more phalanges of the foot was the most common diagnosis among lawnmower injury hospitalizations, with 34.4%, followed by traumatic amputation of the toe, with 32.4%. There is an increasing trend of lawnmower injuries in the United States during the last 9 years.
Lawnmower injuries increase with age, with peaks in persons older than 59 years. Given the high incidence of projectile-related injuries, improved protective apparel and eyewear could lower the rate of injury for all age groups. The increasing trend of lawnmower injuries in the United States suggests that more must be done to prevent lawnmower injuries.
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