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It's risky to be a lefty.

A new study suggests that left-handed children may have more accidents than right-handed ones.

Pediatrician Charles J. Graham and his colleagues at the Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock studied 761 children age 6 to 18 who had been admitted to a pediatric emergency room. They divided the children into two groups: a trauma group, containing 267 kids admitted for various bumps, scrapes and bruises; and a nontrauma group, made up of 494 children with problems such as a sore throat or earache.

The researchers found that 16.5 percent of the children in the trauma group were left-handed, compared with 10.5 percent in the nontrauma group. "Approximately 10 percent of the U.S. population is left-handed," says Graham, "so 10.5 percent in the control [nontrauma] group is about what we'd expect."

Why the difference? No one knows for sure, says Graham. One common explanation is what some lefties might call the conspiracy theory. "We live in a right-handed world," explains Graham, himself a southpaw. "Doorknobs, automobiles and even toys are designed by right-handed people and are used best by right-handed people." An alternative explanation proposes that there's a physiological difference between lefties and righties that may affect motor control or coordination. Graham says finding the cause will be his next goal.
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Title Annotation:left-handed children may be more accident prone
Author:Stroh, Michael
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:May 23, 1992
Words:214
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