BACKGROUND: Several studies have reported decreased trauma admissions and increased physical abuse in children resulting from stay-at-home measures. However, these studies have focused on a limited period after the implementation of lockdown policies. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of quarantine and reopening initiatives on admissions for varying types of injuries in pediatric patients. STUDY DESIGN: Registry data for an urban Level I pediatric trauma center were evaluated from April 1, 2018, to March 30, 2021. A timeline of local shutdown and reopening measures was established and used to partition the data into 6-month intervals. Data about demographics and injury characteristics were compared with similar intervals in 2018 and 2019 using appropriate statistical methodology for categorical, parametric, and nonparametric data. RESULTS: A total of 3,110 patients met criteria for inclusion. A total of 1,106 patients were admitted the year after the closure of schools and nonessential businesses. Decreases in overall admissions and evaluations for suspected child abuse noted early in the pandemic were not sustained during shutdown or reopening periods. However, we observed a 77% increase in all-terrain vehicle injuries, along with a 59% reduction in sports injuries (chi-square [8, N = 3,110] = 49.7; p < 0.001). Significant shifts in demographic and payor status were also noted. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study to comprehensively examine the effects of quarantine and reopening policies on admission patterns for a pediatric trauma center in a metropolitan area. Total admissions and child abuse evaluations were not impacted. If shutdown measures are re-instituted, preventative efforts should be directed towards ATV use and recreational activities.
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