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Vaginal Trauma: You Fell On What?

Trauma is the number one cause of morbidity and mortality in children and adolescents under the age of 21 years. With summer in full swing and more opportunities to play outside, we must remember that accidents occasionally occur. In girls, the most common type of injury seen is a “straddle injury.” This occurs when the force of a blunt object or surface compresses the soft tissue in the genital region, against the bony pelvis. Common examples of straddle injures include falling on a bicycle seat, monkey bars or edge of a diving board. Such accidents may result in minor injuries, such as abrasions or bruises. Unfortunately, more serious trauma can occur as well. Information about the type of event that happened, the kind of blunt object or surface involved or the presence of sharp substances is critical to pass onto medical providers when seeking emergent evaluation. It is additionally important to recognize whether there is abnormal swelling, bleeding, pain or an inability to void. In these situations, it is imperative to seek medical attention immediately. Despite such events being unpredictable and unpreventable, they may still be a traumatic experience for the child and the caregiver. Fortunately, even serious straddle injuries heal well. Furthermore, minor injuries tend to heal rapidly and even major injuries heal relatively quickly. In the end analysis, once children begin to feel better, they resume normal activities, monkey bars and all!