Paediatric window falls and interannual temperature variability in the Seattle metro area

Inj Prev. 2019 Dec;25(6):581-584. doi: 10.1136/injuryprev-2018-043110. Epub 2019 Apr 4.


We explore whether the timing and burden of paediatric window fall injuries in the Seattle area have changed with higher temperatures and increased air conditioning (AC) prevalence. Using hospital trauma registry records from 2005 to 2017, along with population estimates from the National Center for Health Statistics, we calculate trauma incidence rates from paediatric window falls. Using local temperature data, we explore the relationship between temperature increases over time and the seasonality and rate of incidents. Window falls are a substantial cause of injury among children, with an annual trauma incidence rate among children age 0-8 of 10.4 per 100 000 boys and 5.9 per 100 000 girls in our sample. We find a mildly positive trend in the crude rate of window falls over the study period, increasing further when a population-level adjustment for AC prevalence is included. We do not find evidence of earlier injury timing during the calendar year.

Keywords: child; ecological study; fall.

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / mortality*
  • Adolescent
  • Air Conditioning / statistics & numerical data
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Hot Temperature
  • Housing / standards
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Registries
  • Seasons
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Suburban Population / statistics & numerical data*
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data*
  • Washington / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / mortality*