PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Accidental injuries among children at home have increased during the pandemic, according to new research from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Instead of children being injured at school or playing sports, doctors at CHOP are seeing more broken bones happening at and near home.
“It’s kind of neat but it’s kind of like, I want this thing off so I can do things,” 10-year-old Peighton Clemens said.
Peighton broke her arm when she tripped on a ledge at a sandbox near her home in Ocean City, New Jersey.
“Honestly, it was more freaky to look at than hurt. It was, like, bent,” she said.
Peighton’s forearm was fractured in two places. Her dad, Terry Clemens, quickly drove her to CHOP.
“We were fearful as a family with active kids saying, ‘Please don’t get hurt, we don’t want to go to the emergency room with the pandemic,'” Peighton’s mom, Cara Clemens, said.
But Terry says he was quickly reassured at CHOP, where COVID-19 safety precautions are in full force.
“If your child has a new injury to their skeletal system, that’s not really the time we would recommend avoiding the health care system,” said Dr. Apurva Shah, an orthopedic surgeon at CHOP.
Dr. Shah headed new research that compared acute fractures from March to April this year to a year ago.
“We’ve seen the biggest drop of fracture rate among adolescents, where the rate of injury has really come down about 80%. But the risk of fracture in younger kids, like kids who are in the 4 to 12 range, is really still pretty high,” Shah said.
The majority of recent injuries were related to bicycles and trampolines. Normally they see more fractures related to sports injuries.
“If this pandemic wasn’t going on, it probably wouldn’t have happened because she would have been at a soccer game,” Terry Clemens said.
Peighton is usually a busy athlete but now she’s mostly bored.
Pediatricians say parents who are working from home should make sure to routinely check in on their kids. It’s easy to be distracted and accidents can happen quickly, and if kids are on bikes, they need to always wear helmets.