‘I fell off and landed badly’: Children’s experiences of forearm fracture and injury prevention.

Sims-Gould, J. et al. Journal of child health care. Vol. 20, no. 1, p. 98-108, 1741-2889 (March 2016)

Forearm fractures are one of the most common injuries sustained by children. Our descriptive study addressed, from the perspective of a child, the following research objectives: (1) to describe their fracture experience and (2) to describe how fractures might be prevented.

Photovoice is a unique research strategy by which people create and discuss photographs. This technique has been used to elicit the perspectives of those whose voices are often ‘not heard’ in research, like children.

Participants were recruited from a larger three-year prospective trial and included 10 boys (12.3 ± 1.6 years) and 7 girls (11.3 ± 1.6 years). We asked participants to take pictures to explain where their injury occurred (place), what they were doing at the time (context) and how the fracture had happened (mechanism). We also used semi-structured interview techniques.

The following key themes emerged from our interviews: (1) the built environment as a key factor that ’caused’ their fracture, (2) the fracture experienced as a journey not an event and (3) strategies to prevent fractures.

A simple clinical step to potentially reduce subsequent fractures will be for clinicians to have a brief conversation with their young patients and to listen to the child’s personal preventive strategies.

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