Fractures among children: incidence and impact on daily activities
- 1Department of Population Health Sciences, National Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway and Department of Health Services, University of Washington, Seattle, USA
- 2Department of Health Services, University of Washington, Seattle, USA
- Correspondence and reprint requests to: Dr Branko Kopjar, National Institute of Public Health, Department of Population Health Sciences, POB 4404 Torshov, 0403 Oslo, Norway (e-mail: ).
Objectives—The study's objective was to examine incidence of fractures and associated activity restriction among children aged 0–12 years.
Design—Injuries were prospectively recorded over the four year period from 1992–95 in a cohort of children aged 0–12 years, representing 193 540 children years. Information about length and extent of activity restriction was collected from parents by a mailed questionnaire for a subsample of 192 children with a fracture.
Results—A total of 2477 fractures occurred in the study population (128 per 10 000 children annually). The incidence increased linearly with age, by 14 cases per 10 000 children year for each year of age. Boys and girls showed similar patterns of fracture occurrence. There was a significant difference in length of activity restrictions for different types of fractures. The mean and 95% confidence interval (CI) of activity restricted days for leg fractures were 26 (95% CI 7 to 45) days, for arm fractures, 14 (95% CI 8 to 20) days, and for other fractures, 5 (95% CI 1 to 8) days. Arm fractures represented 66% of the cases and 62% of the activity restricted days; leg fractures 19% of cases and 33% of all activity restricted days; and other fractures 16% of the cases but only 5% of the activity restricted days in this population.
Conclusion—The incidence of fractures increases in childhood. Different types of fractures among children cause different amounts of activity restriction.