Eight hospitals reported 781 non-iatrogenic accidents occurring to patients and visitors under 16 years of age during an 18 month period up to October 1989. Accidents more often involved boys and children aged 3 to 5 years old. Falls from a height, slips, and striking accidents were common by day and falls by night. A total of 41% of accidents to inpatients occurred when parents were present. Only three accidents were serious. Altogether 27% involved beds and cots, and only one consequent injury was more than minor. Data collected routinely in case of medicolegal action can be presented in a form that may facilitate preventative work. Potentially remediable causes for concern include falls from beds and cots and the use of makeshift equipment.
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