Craniofacial fractures from canine bites are rare, but can be devastating events that lead to complex surgical management, long-term functional deficits, and psychological sequelae. The objective of this case-control study was to identify risks associated with craniofacial fractures in pediatric dog bite victims. From 2008 to 2019 at our quaternary center, all children with craniofacial fractures from dog bites were included in this study. Controls were obtained in a 2:1 ratio via a random sample of all dog bite encounters. Logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI). Of 3602 dog bite encounters, 114 children were included in the study with an average age of 4.8 years (interquartile range = 2.4-9.1 years) and 51 patients (45%) were female. Seventy-four children (65%) were bitten by a family-owned dog. Thirty-eight patients with 60 craniofacial fractures were identified. The following factors were significantly associated with increased risk for craniofacial fractures: Caucasian race (OR 7.3, CI 1.6-16.7), age under five (OR 4.1, CI 1.6-10.7), rural location (OR 3.9, CI 1.3-12.3), child location on the floor (OR 6.2, CI 2.4-16.2), and dogs weighing over 30 pounds (OR 19.6, CI 5.8-82.3). Nine patients (12%) required multiple reconstructive operations, and four patients (5%) developed post-traumatic stress disorder. In conclusion, toddlers in rural households with large dogs are at high risk for sustaining craniofacial fractures from bite injuries. Craniofacial surgeons, pediatricians, and emergency department physicians should use these data to lead prevention efforts in the community.
- Dog bite
- pediatric craniofacial fracture
- pediatric facial fracture
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