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Severity of playground fractures: play equipment versus standing height falls

Abstract

Aim: To compare the severity of fractures from playground equipment falls to the severity of fractures from standing height falls occurring on the playground.

Methods: This case control study used data on all children presenting to the Hospital for Sick Children (Toronto) from 1995 to 2002 with a fracture due to a playground fall. Cases were children who fell from a height off playground equipment. Controls were children who fell from standing height on a playground. Fractures were major if they required reduction and minor if they did not.

Results: Fractures from equipment falls were 3.91 (95% CI 2.76 to 5.54) times more likely to require reduction than were fractures from standing height falls.

Conclusions: Major fractures were strongly associated with falls from playground equipment, whereas minor fractures came from both play equipment and standing height falls. Efforts to prevent major fractures should target playground equipment and the impact absorbing surface beneath it.

  • CHIRPP, Canadian Hospital Injury Research and Prevention Program
  • playground
  • equipment
  • fracture
  • severity

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