Pediatric Trauma Society

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Sledding Accidents in Children: How Significant are the Injuries?
David J. Linshaw, MD1; D. Joshua Mancini, MD1; Daniel P. Croitoru, MD1; Reto M. Baertschiger, MD2
1Dartmouth Hitchcock, Lebanon, NH; 2Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Lebanon, NH

Introduction:Sledding is an activity many children enjoy during the winter months in cold weather climates in North America. Sledding poses significant risk for injury which can be severe if not lethal. Helmets developed for snow-sports including skiing and snowboarding are infrequently used for sledding. This project aims to retrospectively evaluate the injury patterns of children who were victims of sledding accidents, and describe these injuries as well as overall outcomes.

Methods: We queried the Trauma database and electronic medical records at our pediatric level II trauma center and identified pediatric (0-18 yo) patients who were evaluated from Jan 1st 2005 to March 31st 2018 with sledding accidents. Data was reviewed for demographics, type of injury, use of protective gear, injury severity score, and outcomes.

Results: There were a total of 48 patients evaluated who were involved in sledding accidents.The average age was 8.25 years (range 2-16). 64.5% of patients were male, and 91.6% were Caucasian. 64.6% of patients were out of state residents, and 62.5% were transferred from an OSH. The average ISS was 7.3 (range 1-25) and the average LOS was 2.7 days. 21 patients (43.8%) suffered from head injury (skull fracture, intracranial bleed, or concussion). Only 8.3% of patients were helmeted.

Conclusion: Sledding accidents result in significant morbidity in the pediatric population especially regarding head trauma. Children could benefit from wearing the same protective equipment used for skiing and snowboarding. Parents, children, and health care providers require education regarding risks of severe injury, prevention, and safety.

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