Unintentional fall injuries among US children: A study based on the National Emergency Department Sample
This study uses national data to describe the patterns and aetiologies for childhood falls in a high-income country, the United States. We conducted a retrospective analysis of data for children aged 0-17 years from the 2007 Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS). Sample weights provided by NEDS were used to make national estimates. We estimated that in 2007 there were more than 2.3 million paediatric fall-related emergency department (ED) visits at a rate of 3217 visits per 100,000 children. Over 95% of those seen for fall injuries were treated and released. In addition, government sources made payments for just under one-third of these visits. Of those ED visits that result in hospitalisation, we found marked age patterns in bodily location of injury. The impact of fall-related injuries on EDs in the US is substantial within the paediatric population. The use of national level ED data shows age and gender patterns in paediatric fall injury not readily apparent in previous studies. There are patterns in external cause of injury and bodily location of injury that can be used to guide age specific prevention interventions.