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Study Quantifies Injuries Involving Amusement Rides

THURSDAY, May 9 (HealthDay News) -- Each year, more than 4,400 children seek treatment in U.S. hospital emergency departments for injuries involving amusement rides, according to a study published in the May issue of Clinical Pediatrics.

Meghan C. Thompson, from Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and colleagues retrospectively analyzed data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System involving pediatric amusement ride injuries treated in U.S. emergency departments from 1990 to 2010.

The researchers found that 92,885 children aged 17 years or younger sought treatment in U.S. hospital emergency departments for amusement ride-associated injuries. During the study period the annual average was 4,423 injuries, with an average annual injury rate of 6.24 injuries per 100,000 U.S. children (mean patient age, 8.73 years). The body region most commonly injured was the head and neck (28.0 percent), and soft tissue injury was the most common injury type (29.4 percent). The most frequent mechanism of injury was falling (in, on, off, or against the ride; 31.7 percent). Hospitalization resulted from 1.5 percent of injuries.

"There are opportunities to improve the safety of amusement rides for children, especially to prevent injuries from falls," the authors write. "Injuries to young children associated with rides located at malls, stores, restaurants, or arcades merit further study and preventive action."

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