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Building a Case for Pediatric Fall Prevention

Lombard, Kimberly J., BS; Elsbernd, Terri A., MS, RN; Bews, Katherine A., BA; Klinkner, Denise B., MD, MEd

doi: 10.1097/JTN.0000000000000427

Falls are the leading cause of traumatic injury and injury-related emergency department visits in the state of Minnesota for children aged 0–14 years. We hypothesize that few of the Minnesota trauma centers and public health departments responsible for injury prevention (IP) efforts in the community are focusing on fall prevention interventions for children. The purpose of this study was to examine the current state of childhood IP interventions in Minnesota, identify potential partners to collectively address pediatric fall prevention, and utilize survey results to lead future IP efforts. An electronic survey was administered to state/American College of Surgeons verified trauma center and county health department staff in Minnesota. We compared opinions related to leading causes of traumatic injury, current IP efforts, data sources used to prioritize IP efforts, barriers to implementing childhood fall prevention interventions, and partnerships among trauma centers and health departments. Completed surveys were analyzed, with 37 responses from trauma centers and 25 from county health departments. On the basis of opinion, 47% of trauma center staff listed falls as the number one cause of traumatic injury to children compared with 25% of health department staff. Eighteen percent of survey respondents report that they have, or are, providing fall prevention programing. Limited resources were listed as the leading barrier. Significant variation exists regarding opinions related to the leading cause of pediatric traumatic injury. The feedback generated from this survey will be shared with Minnesota stakeholders in an effort to encourage collective action toward fall prevention interventions for Minnesota children.

Pediatric Trauma Center (Mss Lombard and Elsbernd and Dr Klinkner), Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery Surgical Outcomes Program (Ms Bews), and Division of Pediatric Surgery (Dr Klinkner), Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

Correspondence: Kimberly J. Lombard, BS, Pediatric Trauma Center, Mayo Clinic, 200 First St Southwest, Rochester, MN 55905 (

All authors disclose no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2019 by the Society of Trauma Nurses.