The purpose of the study was to evaluate patterns of fall-related injury through childhood and identify risk factors for more severe fall-related injuries with the goal of informing targeted prevention strategies for different ages.
The study population consisted of pediatric patients in the Iowa Trauma Registry from January 1, 2010, to December 31, 2014, who sustained an unintentional fall-related injury (N = 3856 patients). Multinomial logistic regression analysis was used to predict injury severity. Adjusted odds ratios were calculated characterizing the relationship between fall severity and age, sex, race, and fall type.
More males (62%) sustained a fall-related injury during the study period when compared with females (38%; P < 0.0001). Head injuries were the most common type of injury in the younger than 1 year age group (77%), whereas fractures were the predominant injury type in all other age groups, followed by head injuries. Those younger than 1 year (adjusted odds ratio, 4.0; 95% confidence interval, 2.36–6.90) and aged 15 to 18 years (adjusted odds ratio, 1.9; 95% confidence interval, 1.17–3.03) were more likely to have an Injury Severity Score of ≥16 than those aged 10 to 14 years.
Recommendations and prevention strategies need to focus on specific risk factors to reduce the harm of multilevel falls. As we have shown, patterns of fall injuries presenting to trauma hospitals differ by age, thus suggesting that prevention strategies focus on specific age groups.