In order to compare the epidemiology of burns and predisposing factors to burns at two burn centres representing the cities of Aarhus and Copenhagen, Denmark, a prospective study was set up at the University Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Traumatology, Aarhus and the Centre of Plastic Surgery and Burns Unit, Hvidovre Hospital, Denmark. Several significant differences in the epidemiology of burns in the two populations were found. Considering the social circumstances, the situation in Aarhus was characterized by the fact that most patients lived in their own houses, had a larger family and a larger family income. At the Hvidovre Hospital, the patients more often lived in a flat, had a smaller family and a lower family income than the average.
We report 144 femoral shaft fractures (FSF) in 138 children less than 15 years old. The boy/girl ratio was 2.8:1. The incidence rate was 28 per 100,000 child-years. Young children (less than 3 years) had the highest incidence rates. The most common etiology was trauma due to traffic accidents (43.1%) and falls (42.2%). Falling off bicycles contributed to 4.9%, direct trauma to 3.5%, and jamming to 5.6% of fractures. Involvement of children in traffic accidents and the number of FSFs due to traffic trauma fell significantly during the study period. The resource consumption of FSF was very high compared to other childhood fractures. The mean length of stay for FSF was almost three times that of all other patients seen in the emergency unit.
The aim of this study was to determine the incidence rate and to determine the etiology and the severity of accidents caused by playground equipment during the period 1.1.1989-31.12.1989 and to compare the results with the study made by Christensen et al (1-3). The number of children aged below 15 years was 42,635. A total of 270 playground accidents were registered, which resulted in an incidence rate of 6.3 per 1,000 children per year. This is a reduction from 9.3 per 1,000 children per year in 1981. The incidence rates between boys and girls were 7.0 and 5.6 per 1,000 children per year, as compared with respectively. The sex ratio for the population studied was 1.31 to 1 as compared with 1.44 to 1 in 1981. The sex ratio in the background population was 1.05 both in 1981 and 1989. The greatest number of accidents were seen in spring, especially in April and May. Swings, climbing frames, slides, playhouses and playcastles were responsible for 80% of the accidents. The etiologies were fall accidents in 211 cases, being caught between two objects in 17 cases, being kit by an object in 21 cases and different causes in 21 cases. The underlying surfaces were sufficiently soft in 24% of the cases. The severity of the injury was classified according to the Abbreviated Injury Scale and was found to be: no lesions 1.1%, minor lesions 70%, moderate lesions 25.1% and severe lesions 3.7%. A total of 17 patients were admitted and of these 13 patients had fractures. The possibilities of reducing the number of injuries resulting from playground equipment are discussed.
In order to illustrate the severity of accidents with playground equipment, two cases of fractures in the hip region in children are presented. Both accidents occurred when the children fell on hard surface without the necessary shock absorbing properties as recommended by the Danish Standards. It should be impossible for a child falling accidentally from playground equipment to attain deceleration levels exceeding 50 G at the impact with the underlying surface.