Intended for healthcare professionals

On The Case

Harry Potter casts a spell on accident prone children

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: (Published 22 December 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:1505
  1. Stephen Gwilym, specialist registrar (,
  2. Dominic P J Howard, senior house officer1,
  3. Nev Davies, specialist registrar1,
  4. Keith Willett, consultant1
  1. 1Department of Orthopaedic Trauma Surgery, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford OX3 9DU
  1. Correspondence to: S Gwilym
  • Accepted 22 November 2005

In the infancy of this millennium two things are certain: children injure themselves on the latest “craze” and children will (probably) read the Harry Potter books. Previous reports have highlighted the impact of emerging crazes such as inline skating and microscooters, with attention being drawn to potential accident prevention and emerging patterns of injury.

One modern craze is the Harry Potter series of books and films. In the United Kingdom sales ofthe latest Harry Potter book, The Half-Blood Prince, are estimated to reach fourmillion, with around three million volumes being sold in the first week.

Given the lack of horizontal velocity, height, wheels, or sharp edges associated with this particular craze we were interested to investigate the impact the Harry Potter books had on children's traumatic injuries during the peak of their use.

Methods and results

We undertook a retrospective review of all children aged 7-15 who attended our emergency …

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