[Experimental studies of skull fractures in infants]

Z Rechtsmed. 1984;92(2):87-94. doi: 10.1007/BF02116216.
[Article in German]


According to pediatric statements, falls from a standing position may cause skull fractures in infants without specific symptoms. Nearly every infant has at some time fallen from the changing table or the baby carriage, etc. From the forensic aspect it is the duty of experts to discuss the "battered child syndrome." Evidence given by the defendants concerning the height of the fall are unreliable. Experimental test series concerned with the stumbling height (82 cm in free fall) and three various types of floor-stone, carpet, and foam-backed linoleum -were carried out. In each case skull fractures were seen. In three cases the fractures crossed the sutures.

Conclusions: (1) Each fall of an infant from the height of a table may cause a skull fracture, which may lead to death; (2) when child mishandling is suspected, all circumstances must be taken into consideration.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Home
  • Age Factors
  • Female
  • Forensic Medicine*
  • Fractures, Closed / etiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Skull / injuries*
  • Surface Properties