Journal of Clinical Pediatrics and Neonatal Care

Daylight Savings Time: Spring Forward to more Pediatric Fractures ?

*Carissa Sawyer
Department Of Orthopedic Surgery, 500 University, Hershey PA 17033, USA, United States

*Corresponding Author:
Carissa Sawyer
Department Of Orthopedic Surgery, 500 University, Hershey PA 17033, USA, United States
Email:csawyer@hmc.psu.edu

Published on: 2018-10-29

Abstract

Introduction: Orthopedic injuries in children account for a substantial proportion of pediatric emergency room visits each year. The incidence of these injuries may be associated with various environmental and temporal factors such as changes in the weather, time of day or amount of sunlight. These conditions could play a larger role in pediatric fractures specifically, as warmer, sunnier weather often promotes more outdoor play, and thus more chances for injury. This study will examine the effect of daylight savings time (DST) (as well as other environmental factors) on the incidence of pediatric fractures, with the hypothesis that there will be an increase in the amount of fractures due to the extra hour of sunlight and increasingly warmer weather. Materials and Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed on 69 pediatric patients presenting to the emergency department with a fracture in need of reduction with a mini-C arm over a six month period (December 2014-May 2015). Gender, age, mechanism of injury, date and time of injury, bones fractured, and type of reduction needed were recorded. Weather data from each day of injury was obtained from the National Climatic Data Center’s Quality Controlled Local Climatological Database. Results: During the study period, 69 pediatric fractures requiring reduction with the mini-C arm were treated – 25 (36%) occurring before DST and 44 (64%) after DST. The rate of fractures was significantly higher during the spring months of April and May (p<0.005), days with more sunlight hours (p<0.005), days with warmer temperatures (p<0.005), and during the 3PM-8PM time frame (p<0.05). Additionally, significantly more injuries occurred outdoors after DST than before (p<0.05). There was a significant difference between the mechanisms of injury before vs after DST (p<0.05). Discussion: The results of the current study demonstrate helpful information for emergency room personnel planning and resource distribution related to pediatric orthopedic care. Resource needs can be anticipated to be higher after DST, in the warmer months, during the “after school rush” of 3PM-8PM and on days with higher average temperatures.

Keywords

Daylight Savings Time; Pediatric Orthopedics; Pediatric Fractures

Introduction

Orthopedic injuries in children account for a considerable proportion of pediatric emergency room visits each year. Many of these injuries stem from a fall at play [1]. The incidence of these injuries may be associated with environmental and temporal factors such as changes in the weather, time of day or amount of sunlight, as these conditions often promote more outdoor play, risky physical activity, falls and injuries. Previous authors have reported that the incidence of fractures and emergency room admissions increases during warmer fair-weather days [2-8]. However, many of the previous studies were not specific to children or orthopedic injuries. One study by Kennedy reported that the volume of pediatric fractures increased with warmer weather – the highest number of injuries occurred in May and in the JACOBS PUBLISHERS Jacobs Publishers 2 temperature range of 70o to 79o . However, Kennedy did not address factors such as hour of injury, amount of rain or snow on the ground, or the effect of gaining an extra hour of sunlight during daylight savings time (DST).