Objectives—To investigate whether left handed children are at increased risk for injuries, particularly upper limb injuries.
Setting—Athens, Greece, during a six month period in 1995–96.
Methods—Cases were 129 children 4–14 years old with unintentional upper limb injuries from a population based injury database. Two control children matched for gender and age were selected from among those seen at the same medical institution for minor, non-injury ailments. On the basis of information provided by the children and their guardians, sociodemographic variables were recorded, hand preference was assessed, and each child's activity score was calculated through an abbreviated version of Achenbach's scale.
Results—Left handed children have a moderately increased upper limb injury risk with a tendency of recurrence of this injury. The risk of upper limb injury is also raised among children of young fathers, whereas it appears to be inversely related to crowding index and activity score—three variables that were controlled for as potential confounders.
Conclusions—This study provides limited support for the hypothesis that left handed children are at increased risk for injury. The excess risk, if genuine, is likely to be limited to cultural settings in which right handedness is perceived as the norm.
- activity score
- upper limb injury
- crowding index
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