TITLE

Accidental Burials in Sand: A Potentially Fatal Summertime Hazard

AUTHOR(S)
Zarroug, Abdalla E.; Stavlo, Penny L.; Kays, Greg A.; Rodeberg, David A.; Moir, Christopher R.
PUB. DATE
June 2004
SOURCE
Mayo Clinic Proceedings;Jun2004, Vol. 79 Issue 6, p774
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Accidental burial in sand is a tragically unrecognized risk associated with a popular childhood recreational activity. We describe 4 boys, aged 10 to 13 years, who were accidentally buried by sand. One boy died after his self-made tunnel in a sandbox collapsed. In a separate incident at a construction site, 1 boy died, and 2 were injured after a 30-foot sandpile collapsed as they ran down the embankment; all 3 were buried by the sand. In both incidents, play was unsupervised, and burial was sudden and complete. The calculated weight of the sand exceeded the expected maximal muscle effort of the chest, leading to traumatic asphyxiation secondary to restrictive compression of the chest. Only 15 accidental burials have been reported in the literature. To our knowledge, this is the first report describing children who died of respiratory asphyxia due to overwhelming thoracic compression after sand burial. Greater awareness by public health and safety officials at beaches, sandboxes, sandpiles, and natural play areas may prevent potentially lethal accidents.
ACCESSION #
13317118

 

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