Background Nairobi, Kenya has a population of nearly 4 million with an annual growth rate of 4%. However despite the increased urbanisation across the city, healthcare provision ignores unintentional injuries including falls among children and adolescents.
Methods The objective of the study was to establish the nature of falls among children aged 0–21 years presenting at the Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital Nairobi, Kenya. The study was retrospective based on the review of hospital records from the year 2004 to 2013. The data was analysed based on age group most at risk for a fall, nature of the fall and the cause of the fall injury.
Results A total of 11,137 children were treated for injuries over the study period. Of these, 5570 (50%) sustained fall-related injuries. The number of children admitted for falls annually increased by 332.82% from 259 in 2004 to 1,121 in 2013. The highest incidence of falls was among the 6–10 year age group (n = 2081; 37.4%) followed by the 11–15 year age group (n = 1502; 27%). The highest number of injuries were sustained by falls on the same ground level (n = 2361; 42.4%), a high place (n = 884; 15.9%) and from staircases (n = 776; 13.9%). The least number of injuries were from buildings (n = 3; 0.05%) and moving vehicles (n = 2; 0.04%). All injuries were classified by the nature of falls; majority were open and superficial wounds (n = 2703; 48.53%) and dislocation and strain of joints (n = 798; 14.3%) while the least were intracranial injuries (n = 9; 0.2%). Overall falls have not increased more than any other cause of injuries.
Conclusions The clinical setting of a children’s hospital allows for easy identification of children most at risk of an unintentional injury. Interventions should be put in place in the communities they live in, and there should be more studies on the causes of fall injuries among children. These injuries may be serious enough to require hospital treatment and even result in disability.
- Unintentional injury