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Revista de Neuro-Psiquiatría

Print version ISSN 0034-8597


ISLA ZARATE, Ybeth Medalit et al. Frequency and epidemiological characteristics of head injuries in children under 5 years of age. Rev Neuropsiquiatr [online]. 2016, vol.79, n.2, pp.76-88. ISSN 0034-8597.

Objectives: To describe the frequency, epidemiologic characteristics and possible pathogenic mechanisms of the head injuries in children of five years of age or younger. Methods: Observational descriptive study based on a survey/questionnaire administered through a systematic random sampling procedure to mothers selected from the pediatric Outpatient Service of a general hospital in Lima. Results: A total of 312 mothers were interviewed and information from 373 children was obtained. Two-hundred-sixty of them had experienced at least one hit in the head, reporting 381 cranial traumas. In 89% (339/381), the accidents occurred at home and 39.9% (152/381) in the morning. In 71.7% (243/260), the children had fallen, beds being the most common sites in 62.6% (162/243) of them. In 15.4% (59/381) of the cases, the mother took the child to an emergency service, whereas 5.7% (22/381) went to a community health center. Six out of 381 (1.5%) required hospitalization. Conclusions: Head injuries are common events in children under 5 years. Most of them occur in the house, bedroom being the most common. site. Mothers were the caretakers in almost all cases. Most accidents had mild consequences, and drowsiness and vomiting were the most frequent symptoms. Risk conditions for head injuries were common inside households.

Keywords : Falls; head; trauma; injury; children; home.

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