Year Sample National Estimates 2000 17,958 318,575 2001 16,570 295,775 2002 13,992 286,836
1 million children in the US sustain a head injury each year.
Year Sample National Estimates
2000 17,958 318,575
2001 16,570 295,775
2002 13,992 286,836
165,000 children will be hospitalised due to a head injury.
1 in 10 of those children hospitalised will suffer moderate to severe impairments.
Source: USA Brain Injury Stats/http://www.altelco.net/~jame/tbi/tbistats.htm
Younger children spend more time at home than in any other environment and home is where they are most likely to be the victims of accidents and injuries, especially as the result of falls. Statistics published by the National SAFEKIDS Coalition show that more than 80 % of fall-related injuries among children ages 4 and under occur in the home. Falls can cause many kinds of injuries including abrasions, lacerations and fractures of bones in the arms and legs. But the most serious consequence of falls, and the reason for a large number of urgent calls to emergency rooms and paediatricians' offices, involves injuries to the head as a result of new found mobility in and outdoors.
Among infants under the age of 12 months head injuries are most often associated with falls onto hard surfaces, from furniture, changing tables or counter-tops and with falls down a flight of stairs. Many accidents in which an infant falls down stairs occur when a baby in a mobile walker inadvertently goes over the top step and tumbles down headfirst.
Because of their increased mobility and restless curiosity toddlers are more vulnerable to injury than children in any other age group. In addition to falling down stairs, they often fall after climbing onto chairs, counter-tops and against household appliances. Even more serious injury may result when a toddler climbs up into an open window and falls out. Improved motor abilities place them at greater risk for falling outdoors. Many injuries occur to children in this age group while they are using playground equipment such as seesaws, swings and slides.
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Herman Delooz MD PhD FCCM FFAEM (Hons)
Former President of the European Society for Emergency Medicine. Former Editor of the European Journal of Emergency Medicine.