On the weekends after two Harry Potter books were released, young people’s emergency room visits were reduced by almost half!
J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books sell millions in the days following their releases. "The Order of the Phoenix" was released in summer 2003. "The Half-Blood Prince," the penultimate Harry Potter book, came out in summer 2005.
A British researcher got the idea to study E.R. visits after the release of the last two Harry Potter books when he saw his children glued to the couch reading the books. The study was led by Dr. Stephen Gwilym at John Radcliffe Hospital.
The researchers looked at how many kids ages 7-15 went to the E.R. with musculoskeletal injuries on the weekend after the release date of the two books. Then, they compared the numbers with admissions in a three-year period.
On the weekends the Harry Potter books were released, E.R. admissions were down by almost half! The release weekends had great summer weather, too. They hypothesize that really good books will keep kids safe and reading instead of getting hurt outside.