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January 1990

Lacerations in Urban Children: A Prospective 12-January Study

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia.

Am J Dis Child. 1990;144(1):87-92. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1990.02150250097042

• We prospectively investigated the epidemiologic characteristics of all lacerations (N = 2834) repaired at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (Pa) during 1987 and identified common hazards and possible avenues of intervention. Two-year-old children incurred most injuries; males outnumbered females 2:1. Almost two thirds (61.8%) of all lacerations occurred from May through September, and 62.2% between 3 and 9 pm. Most injuries occurred indoors (47.0%), on the sidewalk or street (22.5%), or in the residential yard (13.0%). Injuries usually occurred during play (42.3%) or daily activity (32.1%); 1247 (44.0%) involved some sort of fall. Vectors most frequently causing injury were broken glass bottles (15.0%), wooden furniture (12.0%), and asphalt or concrete (11.0%). Broken glass bottles also most frequently inflicted injuries resulting in functional impairment (0.2%), hospitalization (0.9%), or both. Complications were seen in 8% of all lacerations. Our data confirm the importance of injuryprevention strategies aimed at reduction of discarded glass objects (ie, recycling legislation), improved furniture design, and improved municipal services (ie, street repair).

(AJDC. 1990;144:87-92)