Common injuries among children of teenage parents

Common injuries among children of teenage parents

Prevention is always better than cure, and the same applies to accidental injuries sustained during childhood. Common sense and personal experience are often cited as the source of accident prevention measures, and a new study calls for more support for teen parents who may not have a wealth of experience from which to draw their strategies.

Parenting is one of those areas where everyone thinks they are an expert. But when the parents are still teens themselves, they come under even greater scrutiny, with many people quick to jump to conclusions about their abilities.

Childhood is often punctuated by trips to hospital emergency departments. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that every 4 seconds, a child is treated for an injury in a US emergency department.

Vast majority of injuries accidental

Prof. Brian D. Robertson and colleagues from University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Children's Medical Center conducted a study to see if children born to teen parents were at an increased risk of injury, either accidental or intentional.

The report, published in The Journal of Pediatrics, used medical records to assess injuries sustained by children aged 7 years and under who had teenage parents and were treated at the Children's Medical Center's emergency department in Dallas between January 1, 2009, and December 31, 2011.

Researchers from Dallas suggest that explaining potential risks to young parents may help them reduce incidence of childhood injuries.

The researchers identified 764 hospital visits that fit the criteria, and the study states that the majority of patients were white and in the care of their mother. In 97% of the cases, the mother was listed as guarantor.

The researchers also note that although children born to teen parents are at an increased risk of child abuse, the rate within the study group was low.

Collating the data from medical records, researchers found that the vast majority of injuries - 93% - were accidental, with 4% recorded as undetermined and the remaining 3% classified as intentional.

Most of the children - 77% - were discharged to home and 12% admitted to hospital. Less than 1% of the children died or were transferred to another hospital for treatment.

Bumps and bruises

Falls were cited as the most common cause of accidents, with bruising and skin marks accounting for most of the injuries. In all cases of dislocation, the injury was nursemaid's elbow, and researchers say the incidence of this within the study group is significantly higher than in the general population.

However, it is most likely attributable to the way the parents pick up their children - by hauling them up by their arms instead of picking them up with hands under their armpits.

The study did find that children admitted with intentional injuries were significantly younger than those who hurt themselves accidentally - with average ages of 0.63 years, compared with 1.57 years.

The researchers note that home injuries during toddler years are affected by numerous variables, including a parent's failure to recognize a hazard, and they call for more injury prevention information for this age group.

The study concludes:

With common sense and personal experience currently serving as the source for injury prevention measures, more efforts are needed to help parents proactively identify injury hazards and risks. Programs geared at improving parental supervision and identifying and correcting home safety hazards could yield in injury reductions across multiple mechanisms of injury both in and outside the home."

Common Sports Injuries in Teens (Video Medical And Professional 2020).

Section Issues On Medicine: Medical practice