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J Paediatr Child Health. 2017 Nov;53(11):1096-1100. doi: 10.1111/jpc.13603. Epub 2017 Jun 30.

Trauma hazards in children: An update for the busy clinician.

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Douglas Cohen Department of Paediatric Surgery, Children's Hospital at Westmead, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.


Trauma and injury continue to be common in children and remain an important cause of mortality and morbidity. Legislation mandating the use of helmets for all cyclists appears to have been effective in reducing the incidence and severity of head and facial injuries, with no clear evidence of a reduction in cycling usage or activity. Straddle injuries, whilst uncommon and generally minor, require careful clinical assessment as they may be associated with urethral trauma. Quad bikes remain highly dangerous with continuing reports of deaths in child riders due to their inherent lack of stability: a ban on their use by children would seem the most effective solution. The popularity of mobile devices and toys, coupled with the development of higher voltage, lithium button batteries have seen a surge in the number of cases and subsequent complications from ingestion. The problems seen in children following ingestion of high-powered, rare earth magnets in the late 1990s and 2000s has now receded due to legislation introduced in 2012. Inhaled, typically organic foreign bodies remain a diagnostic challenge with rigid bronchoscopy still the most effective diagnostic and therapeutic modality. Corrosive ingestion, now seen much less commonly, continues to be a potentially devastating injury when occurring as a result of caustic soda. Recent publicity concerning the problem of childhood drowning highlights the need for constant parental vigilance, the limitations of pool fencing and the importance of community cardiopulmonary resuscitation training, together with repeated education of the risk of rips when swimming in the sea.


bicycle helmet; drowning; prevention; quad bike; trauma

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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