To examine the epidemiological features of pediatric injuries related to falls from windows.
By using the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, emergency department (ED) data for pediatric injury cases associated with window falls in 1990–2008 were reviewed.
An estimated 98 415 children (95% confidence interval [CI]: 82 416–114 419) were treated in US hospital EDs for window fall–related injuries during the 19-year study period (average: 5180 patients per year [95% CI: 4828–5531]). The mean age of children was 5.1 years, and boys accounted for 58.1% of cases. One-fourth (25.4%) of the patients required admission to the hospital. The annual injury rate decreased significantly during the study period because of a decrease in the annual injury rate among 0- to 4-year-old children. Children 0 to 4 years of age were more likely to sustain head injuries (injury proportion ratio [IPR]: 3.22 [95% CI: 2.65–3.91]) and to be hospitalized or to die (IPR: 1.65 [95% CI: 1.38–1.97]) compared with children 5 to 17 years of age. Children who landed on hard surfaces were more likely to sustain head injuries (IPR: 2.05 [95% CI: 1.53–2.74]) and to be hospitalized or to die (IPR: 2.23 [95% CI: 1.57–3.17]) compared with children who landed on cushioning surfaces.
To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate window fall–related injuries treated in US hospital EDs by using a nationally representative sample. These injuries are an important pediatric public health problem, and increased prevention efforts are needed, including development and evaluation of innovative prevention programs.