New study assesses injuries seen in the emergency department to children of teenage parents

November 7, 2013

Although the number of children born to teenage parents has decreased since the 1990s, these children continue to be at an increased risk for injury, both accidental and intentional. This may be because many of these teenage parents are poor, uneducated, and lack parental safety and supervision skills. In a new study scheduled for publication in The Journal of Pediatrics, researchers analyzed the types of injuries to children of teenage parents.

Brian D. Robertson, PhD, and colleagues from UT Southwestern Medical Center and Children's Medical Center evaluated the of of teenage parents seen in the emergency department from 2009 to 2011. A total of 764 patients under the age of 7 years were included in the final analysis. Falls and ingested objects were the most common mechanisms of injury (45% and 9%, respectively), and bruising/skin marks and fractures were the most common injuries sustained (49% and 17%, respectively).

The number of dislocations, all of which were nursemaid's elbow (pulling on an outstretched arm or picking up by means other than under the arms), increased from 4% to 7.7% during the study timeframe. Head injuries increased from less than 1% to 5.6%. Although 93% of injuries were unintentional or likely unintentional, those cases that were intentional had higher percentages of admissions, fatalities, head traumas, and multiple injuries. Most of the children (87%) were seen in the ; 77% of the children were evaluated and discharged home.

Despite the reported increased risks for intentional injury, child abuse, and general medical problems in children of teenage parents, this study reports that a majority of children were treated for unintentional injuries. Falls are one of the leading causes of injury to children in the United States. According to Dr. Robertson, "Injury prevention efforts for teenage parents should be devoted to preventing falls and foreign body ingestions." Programs should strive to help teenage parents proactively improve home safety (identify hazards and risks) and improve parental supervision skills.

Explore further: Abusive head trauma injuries linked to socioeconomic status, age and gender

More information: "At-Risk Children of At-Risk Parents: Assessing Common Injuries to the Children of Teenage Parents," by Brian David Robertson, PhD, Cathleen Lang, MD, and Angela Bachim, MD, appears in The Journal of Pediatrics, DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2013.09.024

Related Stories

Abusive head trauma injuries linked to socioeconomic status, age and gender

November 5, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—A new study estimates that more than seven children under the age of five with abusive head trauma were treated each day in U.S. emergency departments between 2006 and 2009. Abusive head trauma is a serious ...

Children with brain injuries nearly twice as likely to suffer from depression

October 25, 2013
In a study presented Oct. 25 at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition in Orlando, researchers found that compared to other children, 15 percent of those with brain injuries or concussions were ...

Unintentional child injuries, deaths can be prevented, health researchers say

April 29, 2011
Patricia Schnitzer, associate professor in the MU Sinclair School of Nursing, says that most unintentional child injury deaths of young children result from inadequate supervision or failure to protect children from harm. ...

Study finds 15-fold increase in inflatable bouncer-related injuries among children

November 26, 2012
A new study by researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital examined pediatric injuries associated with inflatable bouncers, such as bounce houses and ...

Protecting children from firearm violence

October 28, 2013
Firearm-related injuries in children and adolescents are an important cause of preventable injury and mortality. Recent national shooting tragedies involving children have resulted in new efforts to study the problem and ...

Crash, bang, thump: The hidden dangers around the home

March 26, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—Bunk beds and baby change tables are among the hidden dangers around the home causing serious injury and death to Queensland children.

Recommended for you

Study shows probiotics can prevent sepsis in infants

August 17, 2017
A research team at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health has determined that a special mixture of good bacteria in the body reduced the incidence of sepsis in infants in India by 40 percent at ...

Children who sleep an hour less at higher risk of type 2 diabetes, says study

August 15, 2017
A study has found that children who slept on average one hour less a night had higher risk factors for type 2 diabetes, including higher levels of blood glucose and insulin resistance.

Low blood sugars in newborns linked to later difficulties

August 8, 2017
A newborn condition affecting one in six babies has been linked to impairment in some high-level brain functions that shows up by age 4.5 years.

Can breast milk feed a love of vegetables?

August 4, 2017
(HealthDay)—Want your preschooler to eat veggies without a fuss? Try eating veggies while you're breast-feeding.

Small drop in measles vaccinations would have outsized effect, study estimates

July 24, 2017
Small reductions in childhood measles vaccinations in the United States would produce disproportionately large increases in the number of measles cases and in related public health costs, according to a new study by researchers ...

At the cellular level, a child's loss of a father is associated with increased stress

July 18, 2017
The absence of a father—due to incarceration, death, separation or divorce—has adverse physical and behavioral consequences for a growing child. But little is known about the biological processes that underlie this link ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.