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Lawnmower Injuries More Common in Children From Rural Areas

Rural areas have higher rates of incidence, infection, surgical complications, amputations

teen boy mowing lawn

TUESDAY, May 5, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- From 2005 to 2017, 1,302 lawnmower injuries were identified in the United States, with higher rates in rural areas, according to a study published in the May 1 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Ronit Shah, from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and colleagues queried the Pediatric Health Information System database for patients aged 1 to 18 years from 2005 to 2017 who presented with a lawnmower injury.

The researchers identified 1,302 lawnmower injuries (mean age, 7.7 ± 5.1 years; 78.9 percent boys). After adjustment for regional case volume, the incidence rates per region were 2.16, 2.70, 1.34, and 0.56 injuries per 100,000 cases in the South, Midwest, Northeast, and Western United States, respectively. Urban and rural areas had an incidence rate of 1.47 and 7.26 injuries per 100,000 cases, respectively, after stratification and adjustment for total case volume by locale. Higher rates of infection and higher percentages of patients requiring inpatient stay were seen in rural areas. The surgical complication rates were 5.5 and 2.6 percent in rural and urban areas, respectively. The overall amputation rates were 15.5 and 9.6 percent in rural and urban areas, respectively, with rural patients 1.7 times more likely to undergo an amputation.

"Young children should be kept away from lawnmowers of any type, as the consequences of a lawnmower injury can be devastating and life-altering," a coauthor said in a statement.

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