Changing epidemiology of injury-related pediatric mortality in a rural state: implications for injury control.
ABSTRACT To document the current epidemiology of pediatric injury-related deaths in a rural state and evaluate changes over time.
Retrospective review of injury-related deaths in children less than 15 years of age. Data were obtained from death certificates and coroner, autopsy, prehospital, and hospital records. Analysis was done of the mechanism of injury, age, sex, race, location of incident, toxicology, and safety device use. Comparisons with analogous data collected from an earlier time period were made.
The state of Montana, from October 1989 to September 1992.
Deaths per 100,000 population, intentionality of injury, mechanism of injury, use of protective devices, and comparisons with previous data (1980-1985) collected by Baker and Waller (Childhood injury: State by state mortality facts. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Injury Prevention Center, 1989;148-152).
Of 121 patients reviewed, 56% were male and 44% were female. Mean age was 7.0 years (median, 8.0). Eighty-one percent of patients were Caucasian, and 16% were Native American. The leading cause of injury was motor vehicle crashes, which was followed by drowning, unintentional firearm injuries, deaths related to house fires, homicides, and suicides. Overall, 87% of injuries were unintentional and 13% were intentional, with 62% of these suicides and 38% homicides. When considered independently of intent, firearm-related injuries ranked second. Earlier data showed motor vehicle crashes ranking second, unintentional firearm injuries seventh, and homicide fourth. Comparison of death rates per 100,000 people for the two time periods showed increases in suicide deaths (3.2 vs 0.8) and unintentional firearm injury deaths (2.3 vs 0.6).
The epidemiology of rural pediatric injury-related deaths has changed. Deaths related to suicide and firearms have increased. Violent deaths related to injuries caused by firearms are at a magnitude approaching all other causes. These findings have implications for public health education and injury control strategies in rural areas.
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ABSTRACT: Bicycle injuries account for 10% of all pediatric traumatic deaths. Bicycle helmets have proven to decrease morbidity and mortality, yet trauma data show low helmet use among injured children. However, owning a bicycle helmet does not universally result in a child wearing a helmet. Furthermore, we hypothesize that parental perception of their children's use of the bicycle helmet may not reflect accurately true utilization by their child. To investigate this hypothesis the authors examined both parents' and their children's reports of bicycle ownership, supervision, riding patterns, and helmet use. A random sample of grade 5 and 6 students (ages 8 to 12) and their parents were surveyed about bicycle ownership, riding patterns, supervision, and helmet use. The children and their guardians responded independently to the questionnaire. Statistical analysis was performed using the chi(2) test when indicated. Eighty-eight of 102 children (86%) responded. This represented 56% girls and 44% boys aged 8 to 12 years. Sixty-nine of 90 (77%) of the parents returned the survey. Ninety-six percent of the children owned a bicycle. A total of 87.5% of children owned a bicycle helmet. Eighty percent of the time children ride their bicycles on the road or sidewalk, with less then 20% on marked trails or parks. Parents reported that their children wear a helmet 90% of the time. In contrast, children report no helmet use in up to 61% of riding instances (P <.05). Parents themselves do not wear a helmet in greater then 60% when riding, which is correlated by their children. Seventy-one percent of the children report that they ride unsupervised the majority of the time. Bicycle and bicycle helmet ownership is high among this study group. There is a significant possibility that children will ride unsupervised, in at-risk situations, without wearing a helmet. Parental perceptions about bicycle helmet use by their children may not accurately reflect true utilization. In this study group parents appear as poor role models for their children. Injury prevention strategies need to focus on children and adults to improve effectiveness.Journal of Pediatric Surgery 05/2001; 36(5):763-6. · 1.38 Impact Factor