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Acad Emerg Med. 2006 Feb;13(2):181-5. Epub 2006 Jan 25.

Emergency department visits for sledding injuries in children in the United States in 2001/2002.

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Department of Emergency Medicine, Brown Medical School, Providence, RI, USA.



To describe the characteristics of nonfatal sledding-related injuries in U.S. children resulting in emergency department (ED) visits in 2001/2002 and to explore the implications of these findings for injury prevention efforts.


A stratified probability sample of U.S. hospitals providing emergency services in the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-All Injury Program was utilized for 2001/2002. ED visits resulting from injuries involving sleds, snow discs, snow tubes, and toboggans were analyzed for patients 19 years of age or younger.


In 2001/2002, there were an estimated 57,866 ED visits for sledding-related injuries in the United States for all age groups. Of these, 41,272 (71%) occurred in patients 19 years of age or younger, 58% of whom were male. The highest number of injuries occurred in children between five and 14 years of age (74%), and the injuries were most often caused by falls or collisions (75%). The head or neck was the most frequently injured body region among those 0-9 years of age, while the extremities were injured most commonly among those 10-19 years of age. Head and neck injuries occurred in 56% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 32% to 81%) of children 0-4 years of age versus 19% (95% CI = 9% to 29%) of patients 15-19 years of age. Nine percent (95% CI = 6% to 12%) of patients sustained a traumatic brain injury. Three percent (95% CI = 1% to 5%) of patients required admission to the hospital.


Sledding injuries resulting in ED visits predominantly affect children and are a source of measurable morbidity in this population. An increase in injury prevention efforts for this activity is warranted.

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