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Journal Article


Boisclair S, Rousseau-Harsany E, Nguyen B. Paediatr. Child Health (1996) 2010; 15(10): 645-648.


Department of Pediatrics, CHU Sainte-Justine, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec.


(Copyright © 2010, Canadian Paediatric Society, Publisher Pulsus Group)








BACKGROUND: Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in children and teenagers in Canada. Few publications have addressed injuries caused by jewellery and ornaments in children. OBJECTIVES: To examine the mechanisms and the incidence of injuries caused by jewellery and ornaments in children and teenagers, to identify children at high risk for these type of injuries and to recommend specific injury prevention strategies. METHODS: Data were analyzed from a Canadian database (Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program) of a tertiary paediatric centre. All patients between zero and 18 years of age who were diagnosed in the emergency department with jewellery- and ornament-related injuries during a 10-year period (1997 to 2006) were identified. Patients were categorized according to six age groups (younger than one year of age; one to two years of age; two to four years of age; five to nine years of age; 10 to 14 years of age, and 15 to 18 years of age). For each case, the context and the mechanism of injury were investigated. RESULTS: From a total of 150,771 reported injury cases, 380 (0.25%) were jewellery related. Unlike with most trauma, girls predominate in this kind of injury (n=288; 75.8% of cases). Over one-half of cases (58.1%) were reported for children four years of age or younger. Emergency physicians reported the presence of jewellery as a foreign body in a natural orifice (mouth, nose, ear or genitourinary tract) in 308 cases (81%). No case of intestinal obstruction, strangulation or death was reported. Eleven cases (2.9%) required emergency hospitalization, all for endoscopic evaluation of a foreign body in the airway or in the digestive tract. In the adolescent group, five cases of injuries secondary to piercing were reported. CONCLUSION: The present study demonstrates that, although jewellery-related injuries are relatively infrequent, some can cause severe injuries that could compromise patients' health. As a primary prevention strategy, doctors and health professionals working with children should make parents and caregivers aware of the possibility of trauma in children wearing or playing with jewellery, especially in the zero- to four-year-old group requiring closer supervision. Specific anticipatory guidance concerning piercing may be helpful to adolescents.

Language: en


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