Bathroom injuries in children less than 15 years old

Georgia State University, Institute of Public Health, , Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
Injury Prevention (Impact Factor: 1.89). 01/2013; 19(5). DOI: 10.1136/injuryprev-2012-040600
Source: PubMed


To quantify and describe non-fatal, unintentional bathroom injuries among children less than 15 years of age treated in US hospital emergency departments (EDs).

This study used 2008 data from a nationally representative sample of EDs, available from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-All Injury Program. We examined unintentional non-fatal bathroom injuries in any setting (eg, home, school or public place) among children less than 15 years of age and identified types of injuries, major locations within the bathroom and precipitating events.

Based on 1099 cases, an estimated 51 132 non-fatal bathroom injuries in children less than 15 years of age were treated in US EDs in 2008. Most injuries (73.8%) were caused by falls. The highest rate was for injuries that occurred in or around the shower or bathtub (65.9 per 100 000). Children less than 15 years of age sustained the greatest number of injuries and had the highest injury rate (151 per 100 000 (95% CI 108.7 to 193.3)), while children 10-14 years of age had the lowest rate (28.7 (95% CI 20.6 to 36.8)). The rates differed significantly by age group (p<0.001). A majority of the patients (96.9%) were treated in the ED and released.

Most bathroom injuries in children occurred while they were showering or bathing and were caused by falling or hitting an object. Such injuries might be reduced by improving caregiver supervision for younger children. For older children, a combination of bathroom safety education and environmental modifications, such as installing grab bars inside and outside the shower or tub, may reduce bathroom injuries.

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    ABSTRACT: Background: There has been little research on bathroom accidents. It is unknown whether the shower or bathtub are connected with special dangers in different age groups or whether there are specific risk factors for adverse outcomes. Methods: This cross-sectional analysis included all direct admissions to the Emergency Department at the Inselspital Bern, Switzerland from 1 January 2000 to 28 February 2014 after accidents associated with the bathtub or shower. Time, age, location, mechanism and diagnosis were assessed and special risk factors were examined. Patient groups with and without intracranial bleeding were compared with the Mann-Whitney U test.The association of risk factors with intracranial bleeding was investigated using univariate analysis with Fisher's exact test or logistic regression. The effects of different variables on cerebral bleeding were analysed by multivariate logistic regression. Results: Two hundred and eighty (280) patients with accidents associated with the bathtub or shower were included in our study. Two hundred and thirty-five (235) patients suffered direct trauma by hitting an object (83.9%) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) was detected in 28 patients (10%). Eight (8) of the 27 patients with mild traumatic brain injuries (GCS 13-15), (29.6%) exhibited intracranial haemorrhage. All patients with intracranial haemorrhage were older than 48 years and needed in-hospital treatment. Patients with intracranial haemorrhage were significantly older and had higher haemoglobin levels than the control group with TBI but without intracranial bleeding (p<0.05 for both).In univariate analysis, we found that intracranial haemorrhage in patients with TBI was associated with direct trauma in general and with age (both p<0.05), but not with the mechanism of the fall, its location (shower or bathtub) or the gender of the patient. Multivariate logistic regression analysis identified only age as a risk factor for cerebral bleeding (p<0.05; OR 1.09 (CI 1.01;1.171)). Conclusion: In patients with ED admissions associated with the bathtub or shower direct trauma and age are risk factors for intracranial haemorrhage. Additional effort in prevention should be considered, especially in the elderly.
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