Victims of our climate

Injury. 1993 Apr;24(4):247-8. doi: 10.1016/0020-1383(93)90179-a.


In order to test the hypothesis that the volume of paediatric orthopaedic trauma is related to the weather, we analysed all children with fractures admitted to our unit over a 3-year period and correlated this information with local meteorological data. The average number of children admitted per month with fractures showed a strong positive correlation with mean monthly sunshine hours (Pearson correlation coefficient 0.91) and a weak negative correlation with mean monthly rainfall (-0.24). The summer peak in the incidence of fractures persisted when the effect of school holidays was eliminated. Fractures involving the radius accounted for 48.7 per cent of all fracture admissions and correlation with sunshine hours was highest in this group. Almost two-thirds of all fracture admissions were male and these had a slightly higher mean age (8.2 years) than females (7.6 years). This data has implications for bed management and staffing levels in a paediatric orthopaedic unit.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Female
  • Femoral Fractures / epidemiology
  • Fractures, Bone / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Humeral Fractures / epidemiology
  • Incidence
  • Ireland / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Radius Fractures / epidemiology
  • Seasons*
  • Sex Factors
  • Weather*