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Pediatr Emerg Care. 1990 Dec;6(4):278-9.

It may be more significant than you think: BB air rifle injury to a child's head.

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Department of Surgery, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, CA 90027.


BB guns of 20 years ago were constructed of coils and springs which generated relatively little force, so that a projectile posed little threat of serious injury. Today, the coil and spring construction has been replaced by pump action pneumatic chambers which allow generation of muzzle velocities near 350 ft/sec. Speeds of 150 ft/sec and 200 ft/sec are required for skin penetration and bone penetration, respectively. We present a seven-year-old boy who suffered intracranial parenchymal injury from an air-powered BB gun projectile while playing with friends. We discuss literature which suggests these once-innocent toys are now harbingers of severe, if not fatal, injury.

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