Sunday, April 5, 2009
Nonfatal Fall-Related Injuries Associated with Dogs, Cats
Falls are the leading cause of nonfatal injuries in the United States. In 2006, nearly 8 million persons were treated in emergency departments for fall injuries... To assess the incidence of fall-related injuries associated with cats and dogs, CDC analyzed data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System All Injury Program (NEISS-AIP) for the period 2001--2006. This report describes the results of that analysis, which showed that an estimated average of 86,629 fall injuries each year were associated with cats and dogs, for an average annual injury rate of 29.7 per 100,000 population. Nearly 88% of injuries were associated with dogs, and among persons injured, females were 2.1 times more likely to be injured than males. Prevention strategies should focus on 1) increasing public awareness of pets and pet items as fall hazards and of situations that can lead to fall injuries and 2) reinforcing American Veterinary Medical Association recommendations emphasizing obedience training for dogs.