Emergency department visits secondary to amusement ride injuries in children

Randall Loder, Judy R. Feinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND:: Amusement rides are located not only in large amusement parks but also at local fairs and carnivals, in shopping malls, and at schools, and are even rented for private use. Millions of children in the United States participate in amusement rides annually. The amusement park industry has a vested interest in the safety of its equipment, and indeed, reports of severe injury or death are rare compared to the huge number of rides per year. Nonetheless, injuries severe enough to require an emergency department (ED) visit occur, and this study aims to quantify and describe those injuries in children. METHODS:: The code for amusement rides was used to cull data for children age 18 years and younger from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System database, part of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. This database includes a probability sample of hospital EDs in the United States from which national estimates can be calculated. Incidences of musculoskeletal injuries (fractures, dislocations, and sprains/strains) by age group as well as demographic variables were examined. RESULTS:: Extrapolated numbers indicate that approximately 9200 children are treated annually in a hospital-based ED secondary to an amusement ride injury. Average age is 8.5 years, with both sexes evenly represented. The vast majority of children (95%) are treated and released. Ninety percent of fractures and 81% of dislocations occurred in aged younger children (2-12 years), whereas sprains/strains were the most frequent musculoskeletal injury in adolescents. Fractures of the upper extremity are more prevalent than of the lower extremity, and the majority of fractures occur distal to the elbow or knee. CONCLUSIONS:: Catastrophic injury and death are rare secondary to amusement ride injuries, although those reports often make headline news. Less severe injuries are also uncommon; however, such injuries do occur, and there are little data describing the incidence or patterns of these injuries in children. This study, despite many limitations of the available data, provides the pediatric orthopaedic surgeon with information, which may, in turn, assist in continued advocacy efforts for safety within the amusement ride industry. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:: Level IV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-426
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Pediatric Orthopaedics
Volume28
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2008

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Hospital Emergency Service
Wounds and Injuries
Sprains and Strains
Industry
Consumer Product Safety
Equipment Safety
Databases
Sampling Studies
Incidence
Elbow
Upper Extremity
Lower Extremity
Knee
Age Groups
Demography
Pediatrics
Safety

Keywords

  • Amusement rides
  • Fractures
  • Orthopaedic trauma
  • Pediatric trauma
  • Sprains/strains

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Cite this

Emergency department visits secondary to amusement ride injuries in children. / Loder, Randall; Feinberg, Judy R.

In: Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics, Vol. 28, No. 4, 06.2008, p. 423-426.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "BACKGROUND:: Amusement rides are located not only in large amusement parks but also at local fairs and carnivals, in shopping malls, and at schools, and are even rented for private use. Millions of children in the United States participate in amusement rides annually. The amusement park industry has a vested interest in the safety of its equipment, and indeed, reports of severe injury or death are rare compared to the huge number of rides per year. Nonetheless, injuries severe enough to require an emergency department (ED) visit occur, and this study aims to quantify and describe those injuries in children. METHODS:: The code for amusement rides was used to cull data for children age 18 years and younger from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System database, part of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. This database includes a probability sample of hospital EDs in the United States from which national estimates can be calculated. Incidences of musculoskeletal injuries (fractures, dislocations, and sprains/strains) by age group as well as demographic variables were examined. RESULTS:: Extrapolated numbers indicate that approximately 9200 children are treated annually in a hospital-based ED secondary to an amusement ride injury. Average age is 8.5 years, with both sexes evenly represented. The vast majority of children (95{\%}) are treated and released. Ninety percent of fractures and 81{\%} of dislocations occurred in aged younger children (2-12 years), whereas sprains/strains were the most frequent musculoskeletal injury in adolescents. Fractures of the upper extremity are more prevalent than of the lower extremity, and the majority of fractures occur distal to the elbow or knee. CONCLUSIONS:: Catastrophic injury and death are rare secondary to amusement ride injuries, although those reports often make headline news. Less severe injuries are also uncommon; however, such injuries do occur, and there are little data describing the incidence or patterns of these injuries in children. This study, despite many limitations of the available data, provides the pediatric orthopaedic surgeon with information, which may, in turn, assist in continued advocacy efforts for safety within the amusement ride industry. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:: Level IV.",
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KW - Pediatric trauma

KW - Sprains/strains

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