The “swing-ding”: a golf-related head injury in children

Clinical article

Restricted access

Object

In recent years there has been an increased incidence of golf-associated head injuries in children and adolescents. At the authors' institution, they have identified a unique pattern of head injury associated with a swinging golf club. In this study, the authors highlight the mechanism of this injury and report their experience treating it.

Methods

The authors reviewed the database of Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital Trauma Center and performed a retrospective analysis of golf injuries recorded over a 10-year period (January 2000–April 2010). They identified 13 children (9 boys and 4 girls) who sustained head injuries in golfing accidents. All patients were 10 years of age or younger. The medical charts were reviewed and follow-up interviews were conducted to better delineate the details of the injuries.

Results

Injuries included 13 depressed skull fractures, 7 epidural hematomas, and 1 cerebral contusion. All 13 patients sustained their injuries after being struck in the head by a golf club. Seven sustained injuries on the follow-through of the initial swing and 3 sustained injuries on the backswing. All but one patient required neurosurgical intervention. Five patients developed neurological sequelae. None of the children had prior experience with golf equipment. All but one injury occurred in the child's own backyard. There was no direct supervision by an adult in any of the cases.

Conclusions

Golfing can lead to serious head injuries in children. The authors noticed a unique pattern of golf-related head injuries, previously not described, that they have termed the “swing-ding.” This golf club–inflicted injury occurs when a child stands too close to a swinging golfer and is struck in the head, subsequently sustaining a comminuted depressed skull fracture in the frontal or temporal region, with or without further intracranial injury. The study suggests that a lack of adult supervision, minimal previous golf experience, and proximity of the child to the swinging golfer are all implicated in this head injury pattern.

Article Information

Address correspondence to: Shenandoah Robinson, M.D., Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery, University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, B501, 11100 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44106. email: shenandoah.robinson@uhhospitals.org.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.

Headings

Figures

  • View in gallery

    Bone-window CT scan revealing a right parietal depressed skull fracture in a 5-year-old child who, standing behind a right-handed golfer, had been struck by the club on the backswing.

  • View in gallery

    Bone-window CT scan revealing a left temporal comminuted depressed skull fracture in a child who, standing behind a golfer, had been struck by the club on the follow-through stroke.

  • View in gallery

    Axial CT scan demonstrating a thin right parietal epidural hematoma (arrow) in an 8-year-old child who, standing behind a golfer, had been struck by the club on the backswing. A posterior fossa occipital fracture was also present.

  • View in gallery

    The “swing-ding.” The child stands behind the golfer within the swing-zone (arrow). The child is struck in the frontal or temporal region, sustaining a comminuted depressed skull fracture, with or without further intracranial injury.

References

  • 1

    Fountas KNKapsalaki EZMachinis TGBoev ATroup ECRobinson JS Jr: Pediatric golf-related head injuries. Childs Nerv Syst 22:128212872006

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 2

    Fradkin AJCameron PAGabbe BJ: Children's misadventures with golfing equipment. Int J Inj Contr Saf Promot 12:2012032005

  • 3

    Macgregor DM: Golf related head injuries in children. Emerg Med J 19:5765772002

  • 4

    Rahimi SYHarshpal SYeh DJShaver EGFlannery AMLee MR: Golf-associated head injury in the pediatric population: a common sports injury. J Neurosurg 102:2 Suppl Pediatrics1631662005

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 5

    Ridenour MV: Golf clubs: hidden home hazard for children. Percept Mot Skills 86:7477531998

  • 6

    Rosenow JMHahn MSMoore KDBenzil DLCouldwell WT: Pediatric cranial golf injuries—an emerging contemporary phenomenon?. Surg Neurol 50:6081998. (Letter)

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 7

    Smith RALing SAlexander FW: Golf related head injuries in children. BMJ 302:150515061991

TrendMD

Metrics

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 132 132 15
Full Text Views 67 67 4
PDF Downloads 100 100 4
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0

PubMed

Google Scholar