Lacerations account for many visits to the pediatric emergency department. We observed children presenting to local emergency departments in a large metropolitan area with lacerations incurred from metal lawn and garden edging, a landscaping tool. We sought to describe the severity of lacerations caused by metal edging, the characteristics of wound repair, and the need for subspecialty consultation.
A retrospective chart review including all pediatric patients (< 18 years) presenting with lacerations caused by metal lawn and garden edging from January 1995 to October 1997 was performed. Patients were seen at one of three emergency departments in Colorado.
One hundred twenty-six patients were enrolled (76% male, 24% female), with a median age of 9 years. The most frequent location of laceration was the foot (40%), followed by the knee (26%). The median length of laceration was 3 cm (range 1–22 cm). Sixteen patients (13%) received either intravenous or oral antibiotics, and six patients (5%) received orthopedic evaluation.
Metal lawn and garden edging in landscaped neighborhoods presents a previously undescribed laceration danger to children. Some lacerations sustained from the metal lawn edging are extensive, receiving either multiple layer closure and/or the need for subspecialty consultation.