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Health Promot Chronic Dis Prev Can ; 40(11-12): 336-341, 2020 12 09.
Article in English, French | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1022346


INTRODUCTION: Research has shown that during the 2003 SARS pandemic, emergency department (ED) visits among the pediatric population decreased. We set out to investigate if this was also true for injury-related ED visits during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Using data from the Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program (CHIRPP), we looked at 28 years of injury-related ED visits at the Montreal Children's Hospital, a provincially designated Pediatric Trauma Centre. We compared data from a two-month period during the COVID-19 lockdown (16 March to 15 May) to the same period in previous years (1993-2019) to determine whether the 2020 decrease in ED visit numbers was unprecedented (i.e. a similar decrease had never occurred) for different age groups, nature of injuries, mechanisms and severity. RESULTS: The 2020 decrease was unprecedented across all age groups between 1993 and 2019. When compared with the 2015 to 2019 average, the decrease was smallest in children aged 2 to 5 years (a 35% decrease), and greatest in the group aged 12 to 17 years (83%). Motor vehicle collisions and sports-related injuries practically vanished during the COVID-19 lockdown. Surprisingly, more children aged 6 to 17 years presented with less urgent injuries during the COVID-19 lockdown than in previous years. CONCLUSION: As was the case with SARS in 2003, COVID-19 acted as a deterrent for pediatric ED visits. The lockdown in particular had a profound impact on injury-related visits. The de-confinement period will be monitored to determine the impact in both the short and the long term.

/epidemiology , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Wounds and Injuries/epidemiology , Accidents, Traffic/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Athletic Injuries/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Hospitals, Pediatric/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Protective Factors , Quebec/epidemiology , Wounds and Injuries/etiology