Environmental and Temporal Factors Affecting Pediatric Orthopaedic Injuries


Anecdotal evidence suggests that temporal and environmental factors may contribute to the variance in the volume of pediatric orthopaedic injuries (POI), and knowing the effect of these factors could help in the allocation of resources and personnel in pediatric emergency rooms. All POI presenting to a level 1 pediatric emergency department over a 3-year period were reviewed. Environmental data, including minimal, maximal, and average daily temperatures; amount of precipitation; and lunar phase, were obtained for the study region, as were day of the week and month and season of the year. Multiple logistic regression determined which variable or combination of variables might affect the rate of POI. In the 6770 POI seen over the study period (average 6.2 per day), the day of the week and lunar phase had no effect on the rate of POI, the presence of precipitation lowered the rate slightly, and temperature had a dramatic effect, with the highest number of injuries occurring in the average daily temperature range of 70° to 79°. Winter months of November through February had the lowest rates of POI, while May had the highest.

Adam Kennedy, MD1 Aaron T. Creek, BS; Richard Browne, PhD; James H. Beaty,
MD; William C. Warner, MD; Jeffery R. Sawyer, MD; and Derek M. Kelly, MD