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Counterpoint: minor injuries may not be all that minor
  1. Frederick Rivara
  1. Correspondence to Dr Frederick Rivara, Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, University of Washington, Box 359960, Seattle, Washington, USA; fpr{at}

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I agree with many of the points that Molcho and Pickett1 make in their commentary published in Injury Prevention (in press); I like their table outlining acceptable and non-acceptable injuries to children. I have long ignored injuries that do not make it to medical attention. Injuries requiring a band-aid and a mother's kiss are a part of growing up.


It is important that we are very careful what we call ‘non-severe’, to use the author's terminology. What was not viewed as severe last year may, in fact, carry the risk of significant disability, especially if recurrent. Concussion is an important case in point. Youth playing American-style football, ice hockey, rugby, soccer and basketball can and do sustain concussions during practice and play.2 In the past, getting ‘dinged’ or ‘getting your bell rung’ was viewed as a normal part of the game, something to be ‘sucked up’ and treated at the most by sitting out for a few plays.

Recent data have changed both the medical profession's and public's attitudes …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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