Over a 4-year period, 1,237 children under 16 years of age were managed at our level-I pediatric trauma center, of which 24 (1.9%) had zone-II penetrating neck injuries. Six of these 24 children (25%) were explored surgically with positive findings in four and negative findings in two neck explorations; five children (21%) underwent radiologic or endoscopic studies and were observed; 13 (54%) were observed only and did not require studies or exploration. Nonoperative observation of penetrating zone-II neck injuries is safe and the procedure of choice if active observation can be performed and the facilities for immediate operative intervention are available.
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