For Pete's sake. This popped up in my newsfeed today, with multiple lay media citations:
Pediatric Inflatable Bouncer–Related Injuries in the United States, 1990–2010
METHODS: Records were analyzed from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System for patients ≤17 years old treated in US emergency departments (EDs) for inflatable bouncer–related injuries from 1990 to 2010.
RESULTS: An estimated 64 657 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 32 420–96 893) children ≤17 years of age with inflatable bouncer–related injuries were treated in US EDs from 1990 to 2010. From 1995 to 2010, there was a statistically significant 15-fold increase in the number and rate of these injuries, with an average annual rate of 5.28 injuries per 100 000 US children [...] Most injuries were fractures (27.5%) and strains or sprains (27.3%), and most injuries occurred to the lower (32.9%) or upper (29.7%) extremities.
CONCLUSIONS: The number and rate of pediatric inflatable bouncer–related injuries have increased rapidly in recent years. This increase, along with similarities to trampoline-related injuries, underscores the need for guidelines for safer bouncer usage and improvements in bouncer design to prevent these injuries among children.Sweet Jesus on a pogo stick. So you mine a database for some trivial but catchy mechanism of injury and slap a ramshackle statisical analysis on it (somewhere between 30K-100K injuries? that confidence interval is as wide as a barn door) and presto blammo you're in Pediatrics and USA Today and on CNN solemnly intoning on the dangers of letting your kids go to Jump Planet.
Is this where we are as a society? Have we run out of actual public health concerns that we find this sort of minutia worth researching? Or are car crashes and gun accidents and drug overdoses gotten too boring to publish and report on? Or, I suspect, is the culture of academia so degenerate that the mandate of "publish or perish" overwhelms common-sense judgement in deciding whether a topic is publication-worthy? Yup, that's it. Bring on the trivia!
Next thing you know they will be warning you of the dangers of tripping over your pets. Oh, wait. They already did that study.
That meteor can't get here soon enough.
EDIT: Great minds etc etc etc