The epidemiology of fractures in children

Injury. 2007 Aug;38(8):913-22. doi: 10.1016/j.injury.2007.01.036. Epub 2007 Jul 12.


A retrospective study of all paediatric fractures presenting to hospital in Edinburgh, Scotland in 2000 was undertaken. It showed that the incidence of fractures was 20.2/1000/year and that 61% of children's fractures occurred in males. Analysis of paediatric fractures shows that there are six basic fracture distribution curves with six fractures showing a bimodal distribution but most having a unimodal distribution affecting younger or older children. The incidence of fractures increases with age with falls from below bed height (<1m) being the commonest cause of fracture. The majority of fractures in children involve the upper limb. Lower limb fractures are mainly caused by twisting injuries and road traffic accidents. The incidence of fractures in cyclists and pedestrians remains relatively high whereas the incidence in vehicle occupants is low suggesting that road safety programs have been successful. Similar programs should be instituted for young cyclists. The importance of accident prevention programmes in the home is also highlighted.

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data
  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data
  • Adolescent
  • Age Distribution
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Fractures, Bone / classification
  • Fractures, Bone / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Scotland / epidemiology
  • Sex Distribution