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Siblings of children who had unintentional injuries were at increased risk of injury for 90 days after the event

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QUESTION: Are siblings of children admitted to hospital or treated for unintentional injury in the emergency department (ED) at increased risk of injury in the short term?


Cohort study.


King County, Washington, USA.


41 242 children aged 0–15 years (50% boys, 49% white) who were continuously enrolled in Medicaid between October 1992 and September 1993.

Assessment of risk factors

Children were considered to be exposed for 90 days after ≥1 of their siblings were admitted to hospital or treated in the ED for an injury. Children were considered to be unexposed if there were no recorded injuries for siblings or if >90 days had elapsed since an injury.

Main outcome measures

ED treatment or admission for an unintentional injury were identified from Medicaid claims records.

Main results

5003 incident injury events occurred in 4162 children; 4921 events required treatment in the ED (4084 children) and 82 …

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  • Source of funding: no external funding.

  • For correspondence: Dr B D Johnston, Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, Box 359960, 325 9th Avenue, Seattle, WA 91804-2499, USA. Fax +1 206 521 1562.