The objective of this study was to calculate injury rates and describe the epidemiology of holiday-related injuries among children who were aged ≤19 years and presented to US emergency departments (EDs) from 1997 through 2006.
Data on holiday-related injuries obtained from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission's National Electronic Injury Surveillance System were analyzed.
From 1997 through 2006, an estimated 5710999 holiday-related injuries sustained by children who were aged ≤19 years presented to US EDs. The greatest number of injuries occurred on Labor Day followed by Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Halloween. Children who were younger than 5 years sustained a greater proportion of injuries than other age groups. The face, finger/hand, and head were the most commonly injured body parts. Lacerations, contusion/abrasions, fractures, and sprain/strains were the most common diagnoses. Overall, the majority of injuries that occurred on holidays were classified as sports and recreation–related. In addition, home structure–related and home furnishing–related injuries were prevalent. Injuries that were associated with fireworks were more likely to occur on the Fourth of July than any other holiday, yet fireworks accounted for only a small proportion of Fourth of July injuries.
Most injuries that were sustained on holidays and required ED treatment were not holiday-specific but were associated with more general activities. Parents should be aware that holidays present a risk not only for holiday-specific injuries but also for more general, “everyday” injuries.