Home exercise equipment-related injuries among children in the United States
Clin Pediatr
originally published online 4 February, 2011
; doi:

Researchers from Ohio State University investigated home exercise equipment-related injuries in children from 1990 through 2008. Data were obtained from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), which was established by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission to monitor patients with injuries treated in United States hospital emergency departments (ED). For the NEISS, data from a probability sample of approximately 100 United States hospitals with 24-hour EDs with six or more beds are received and national rates of injuries are calculated. Information on the following variables was abstracted from the NEISS on patients younger than 18 years who had injuries related to home exercise equipment: age, ED disposition, injury diagnosis, body region injured, mechanism of injury, and equipment type.

During the study period, there were an estimated 241,573 children aged 18 and younger who were treated in hospital EDs because of home exercise equipment-related injuries (16.9 per 100,000 children per year). There was a 41.9% increase (P<.0001) in home exercise equipment-related injuries during the 19-year study period. Children less than 4 years of age represented 38.5% of the injuries, with over 75% involving either the head or finger/hand region. Children less than 10 years of age accounted for 71.4% of the reported injuries. Over 5,000 children (2.2%) required hospital admission during the study period, with children less than 10 years of age accounting for almost 80% of the admissions. Lacerations and soft tissue injuries accounted for the majority of diagnoses with 37.2% and 28.4%, respectively, followed by sprain/strain (14.0%), fracture (11.5%), other (6.3%), and concussion (2.7%). The head and finger/hand were the most commonly injured body regions (28.6% and 22.0%, respectively).

A mechanism of injury was described in 85.4% of the records with the most common being using the equipment (49.9%), followed by injury from moving parts (27.8%) and falls into equipment (17.8%). Use of equipment was associated with head injuries in 26.9% of patients while moving parts contributed to almost two-thirds of patients who suffered finger/hand injuries. Patients who were age 4 or younger were twice as likely to be injured by moving parts as patients 5 to 18 years of age, while more than 75% of the injuries in the 10- to 18-year-old group occurred while using the equipment. Children injured by moving parts were significantly more likely to be admitted to the hospital than those with other mechanisms of injury. Stationary bicycles were the most common source of home exercise equipment-related injury (32.3%), followed by treadmills (30.9%) and jump ropes (26.3%).

The authors conclude that the rising number of home exercise equipment-related injuries highlights the need for preventive strategies to reduce these types of injuries.

Dr Geskey has disclosed no financial relationship relevant to this commentary. This commentary does...

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