Monkey bars are for monkeys: a study on playground equipment related extremity fractures in Singapore

Singapore Med J. 2004 Jan;45(1):9-13.


Studies in Caucasian populations have shown that a significant percentage of childhood extremity fractures occur at the playground. There are no comparable studies in Asian populations. Thus this study sets out to determine the pattern of playground related extremity fractures in Asian populations and to suggest modifications to prevent or reduce these injuries. This study involved a retrospective review of 390 patients with these fractures who visited our Department from May 1997 to December 1998. This accounted for 19.5% of all fractures seen in the same period. The largest age group affected were the five through 12-year-old patients with a male to female ratio of 2:1. Monkey bars or upper body devices were the most common cause (66%). The most common fracture was supracondylar fractures (43%). Further studies to determine the actual dimensions of playground equipment will be carried to ascertain with greater certainty the safety of these equipment in our playgrounds.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Distribution
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Equipment Safety / statistics & numerical data*
  • Extremities / injuries*
  • Female
  • Fractures, Bone / classification
  • Fractures, Bone / epidemiology*
  • Fractures, Bone / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Play and Playthings / injuries*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Singapore / epidemiology