Unnecessary school absence after minor injury: case-control study

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: (Published 03 November 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:1034
  1. Peter M Barnes, specialist registrara,
  2. Lorna Price, staff grade doctora,
  3. Alison Maddocks, consultant (,
  4. Ronan A Lyons, senior lecturerb,
  5. Pam Nash, consultantc,
  6. Michael McCabe, consultantd
  1. a Department of Community Child Health, Swansea NHS Trust, Central Clinic, Swansea SA1 1LT
  2. b Department of Public Health, Iechyd Morgannwg Health Authority, Swansea SA1 1LT
  3. c Local Accident Centre, Neath General Hospital, Neath SA11 2LQ
  4. d Accident and Emergency Department, Swansea NHS Trust, Morriston Hospital, Swansea SA6 6NL
  1. Correspondence to: A Maddocks
  • Accepted 11 July 2001

Children acquire many of the academic and social skills they need for their adult lives at school. Excessive absence from school is associated with educational failure, particularly when children miss more than 11% of school days.1 Each year, one in three British children goes to an emergency department for treatment, predominantly with minor injuries, but the effect on school attendances has not been quantified.2

This study was designed to investigate the number of days missed from school after children attended one of three local emergency departments with minor injuries. We defined minor injuries as those not requiring admission to hospital and not affecting mobility or the ability of the child to care for himself or herself.

Method and results

This case-control study involved children resident in, and attending school full time in, the Welsh counties of Swansea and Neath Port Talbot during the autumn school term of 1999. A case was defined …

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