Background Studies show that young children (< 5 yrs) are most at risk among the under 18-year-olds for being hospitalised because of a head injury (Dunning et al. 2004). Despite the high incidence rates in this age group and some publications on a national level (Ellsaesser 2014), little knowledge exists on a European level of the importance of products triggering head injuries in young children. For such questions the European Injury Data Base (IDB) provides a valuable source of information, in particular its full data set (FDS) which is used in 18 EU countries for collecting information on the product involvement.The following study aims to use this data for an in depth analysis on product related head injuries.
Method Case analysis of a total of 54,001 injuries collected during a 2-year period (2013–2014) in the under five-year-olds treated in 115 hospitals (either ward or emergency) of 18 European countries. An injury was counted as ”head injury” if the body part was documented as head and one of the following injury types were registered: contusion, open wound, abrasion, fracture, concussion or other specified brain injury. An injury has been counted as a product related injury if a product was registered as triggering the injury.
Results Head injuries in infants (<1 year) made up 63% (3,486) of all injuries (5,538) in the age group. 65% (2,255) of head injuries were triggered by products. The three most frequent product related head injuries were falling from or out of: #1 bed 20% (459), #2 changing table 10% (226), #3 buggy or carrier 7% (150). Head injuries in 1-to 4-year-olds made up 41% (19,876) of all injuries in the age group (48,463). 59% (6,977) were triggered by a product. The three most frequent products involved were: #1 furniture 8% (1048), e.g. couch, #2 stairs 7% (963), #3 bed 5% (653).
Conclusions Product related head injuries in young children are a crucial public health issue and new parents should be given targeted injury prevention measures.
- head injuries
- young children
- injury prevention
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