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September 1990

Childhood Lawn Dart Injuries: Summary of 75 Patients and Patient Report

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Infectious Diseases (Drs Sotiropoulos, Jackson, and Burry) and Neurology (Dr Tremblay), The Children's Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, Mo; and the Department of Pediatrics, University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Medicine (Drs Jackson, Tremblay, Burry, and Olson).

Am J Dis Child. 1990;144(9):980-982. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1990.02150330040018

• Lawn dart injuries account for an estimated 675 emergency department visits per year. Seventy-six patients are described herein. The victims ranged from 1 to 18 years of age and were predominantly male (male to female ratio is 3.1:1). The most common sites of injury were head (54%), eye (17%), and face (11 %). Hospitalization was required for 54% (41/76) of these patients. Sequelae included unilateral blindness and brain damage. The case fatality rate was 4%. The extent of a head injury was not always clinically apparent at the initial presentation and should be promptly defined by computed tomographic scan. Despite the recent ban on the sale of lawn darts, there remain an estimated 10 to 15 million sets of lawn darts in the homes of Americans. Pediatricians should encourage parents to discard all lawn darts.

(AJDC. 1990;144:980-982)

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