Do Professional Society Advocacy Campaigns Have an Impact on Pediatric Orthopaedic Injuries?

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Abstract

Purpose:

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) both advocate for childhood injury prevention by publishing recommendations to orthopaedic surgeons, pediatricians, and the public. Popular topics of advocacy campaigns have included trampolines, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), and lawnmowers. The purpose of this study was to investigate the temporal relationship between AAOS/AAP advocacy and pediatric orthopaedic injury rates, using these topics as examples. We hypothesized that pediatric orthopaedic injury rates decline in years, following related AAOS/AAP recommendations.

Methods:

A retrospective review of fractures associated with trampolines, lawnmowers, and ATVs among patients aged 2 to 18 years from 1991 to 2014 was performed using the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS). Fracture rates and percent changes year-to-year were calculated. A timeline of AAOS and AAP advocacy statements published on the products was created.

Results:

Trampoline-related fractures rose 14% yearly from 1991 to 1999, reached a plateau from 1999 to 2003, corresponding with a 1999 AAP statement. Injury rates dropped 4.3% from 2006 to 2010 after 2005 and 2006 statements, and reached another plateau thereafter, as 2010 and 2012 statements were published. ATV-related fractures rose 14% yearly between 1997 and 2002, then dropped 15% from 2007 to 2010 following yearly AAP or AAOS statements from 2004 to 2007. From 2010 to 2014, the injury rate held constant during which time 2010, 2013, and 2014 statements were published. Lawnmower injury rates did not fall despite statements in 1998 and 2001 and a poster campaign in 2001. A 25% drop from 2007 to 2008 coincided with an AAOS statement in 2008. Fracture rates further dropped 31% from 2009 to 2011 and 21% from 2012 to 2014, amidst 2012 and 2014 statements. For ATV-related and lawnmower-related injuries, more male individuals were affected than female individuals, and for ATVs alone, injury rates increased with age.

Conclusions:

Although AAOS/AAP statements did not universally coincide with dropping fracture rates, statements often were associated with substantial decreases in following years. This is likely because injury prevention messages are dispersed from providers to the public over time and outcomes depend on highly variable patient behaviors.

Level of Evidence:

Level V—systematic review of descriptive data.

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