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Pediatric Lawnmower Injuries: a Single Pediatric Trauma Center Experience over Ten Years
Brock Hewitt, MD1, Abigail E. Martin, MD1,2. 1Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA, 2A.I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, DE, USA.

Background: Both riding and push lawnmowers can cause significant morbidity to children, whether a child is an operator or a bystander.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed all patients evaluated for lawnmower injuries at our pediatric trauma center from September 2006 through August 2015. Patient characteristics included: age, gender, place of injury, mechanism, injury severity score, operations, length of stay, and remaining disability.

Results: 19 patients sustained lawnmower-related injuries during these 10 years. Mean patient age was 5.5 years, and 15 (79%) of the patients were male. All injuries occurred at home. Ten (53%) of the injuries involved riding lawnmowers. The average ISS was 5.75, with an average ISS of 8.2 for injuries involving riding lawnmowers versus 3.4 for push lawnmowers. Average hospital length of stay was 10.5 days. All of the patients sustained injuries to at least one extremity: 15 had single lower extremity injuries, 3 had single upper extremity injuries, and 1 had both a single upper and a single lower extremity injury. Three of the four upper extremity injuries (75%) had some residual disability from the injury, whereas only 1 of the 16 lower extremity injuries (6%) resulted in disability. Two patients had soft tissue injuries to the head and neck. Only one patient sustained thoracoabdominal injury. No deaths occurred in this cohort.

Conclusions: Lawnmower injuries, especially those from riding lawnmowers, cause significant morbidity. To reduce injury we need a concerted effort to improve safety mechanisms on lawnmowers, promote better operator awareness, and limit children's access to lawn machinery.


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