Topic: To determine the pattern of injuries in children who fall from a height.
Introduction: Most injuries sustained by children who fall from a height are of the blunt
type. Despite there being literature that characterises injuries in general, few studies have
focused on fall-related injuries. Most of these studies are conducted in the primarily
urban western countries. No such study has been conducted in Kenya, and the existing
hospital records may not adequately reflect the full spectrum of these injuries. The aim of
this study was to provide data on the type of injuries that children sustain when they fall
from a height.
Methodology: This was a prospective descriptive study of children aged 0-13 years who
sustained injuries after falling from any height. It was conducted at a large urban hospital
serving a large population (bed capacity of about 1,200). A statistically acceptable sample
size of 80 was picked and all the injuries diagnosed were characterised. The outcome of
the injuries was also investigated. The study took duration of 6 months, 14th Nov 2006-
30th May 2007, during which the sample size was fulfilled.
Results: A total of 80 children were recruited into the study. Boys were 61 (76%) and girls
19(24%), with an age range 0-13 years. Most injuries occurred at home (78.75%) after
falling from buildings (33.75%), and were of mild-to-moderate severity. 13.4% sustained
haemorrhage, 16.5% sustained facial injuries, 25.2% sustained CNS injuries, 43.3%
sustained various fractures, and 1.6% sustained abdominal trauma. The head and
musculoskeletal systems were the most likely regions to be injured. No thoracic or pelvic
fractures were recorded. Recovery was good in most instances.
Conclusion: Most children who sustain injuries after a fall do so from falling from a
building. They are most likely to sustain distal fractures and head injury than other types
of injuries, mostly of mild-moderate severity.