Journal of Community Health

, Volume 43, Issue 5, pp 986–992 | Cite as

Retrospective Cohort Comparison of Fall Height in Children in the Greater Los Angeles Area: Targeting Populations for Injury Prevention

  • Jessica A. Zagory
  • Cory McLaughlin
  • Michael Mallicote
  • Helen Arbogast
  • Jeffrey S. Upperman
  • Aaron R. Jensen
Original Paper


The purpose of this study was to determine whether falls from significant height occur more frequently in young children. We conducted a 10-year (2004–2014), comparative study using a retrospective cohort of 4713 children (< 18 years) from the Los Angeles county trauma database who were evaluated for a fall. Exposure was fall height, dichotomized into < 10 ft/low-risk fall and > 10 ft/high-risk fall. Primary outcome was age of fall. Secondary outcomes were disposition from emergency department, injuries, resource utilization, and mortality. Of all falls, 4481 (95%) were low-risk and 232 (5%) high-risk. High-risk falls were more frequent in children 1–3 years old (58 vs. 30%, p < 0.01), associated with higher frequency of intracranial hemorrhage (19 vs. 10%, p < 0.01), intubation (11 vs. 1%, p < 0.01), and neurosurgical procedure (2 vs. 0.8%, p = 0.04). There was no difference in mortality (0.86 vs. 0.13%, p = 0.06). In Los Angeles County, children 1–3 years old are most likely to suffer high-risk falls, which are associated with serious injury. Integration of fall prevention education into routine anticipatory guidance should be strongly considered for children 1–3 years old.


Pediatric falls Injury prevention Unintentional injury 



This Research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

Ethical approval was obtained form University of Southern California/Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Institutional Review Board #CHLA-15-00359.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jessica A. Zagory
    • 1
  • Cory McLaughlin
    • 1
  • Michael Mallicote
    • 1
  • Helen Arbogast
    • 2
  • Jeffrey S. Upperman
    • 1
    • 3
  • Aaron R. Jensen
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of Pediatric Surgery, Department of SurgeryChildren’s Hospital Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Injury Prevention ProgramChildren’s Hospital Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Department of SurgeryKeck School of Medicine of the University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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