Objective. Injuries to infant children are an important health concern, yet there are few population-based analyses from which to develop prevention initiatives. This study describes the external causes, natures, and disposition from an emergency department of infants with injuries for a geographically distinct population in Eastern Ontario.
Methods. Epidemiologic analysis of emergency-based surveillance data (1994–2000) for infants (<12 months old) from the Kingston sites of the Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program.
Results. A total of 990 cases of injury to infants were identified, of which 217 (21.9%) required significant medical intervention. Leading causes of injury were falls (605/990; 61.1%), ingestion injuries (65/990; 6.6%), and burns (56/990; 5.7%). Common types of falls experienced were: from furniture (229/605; 37.9%), being dropped (92/605; 15.2%), in car seats (73/605; 12.1%), down stairs (63/605; 10.4%), or in a child walker (42/605; 6.9%). The observed patterns of injury changed according to the ages of the children. Vignettes are used to illustrate recurrent injury patterns (falls, physical vulnerability, burns and ingestions, equipment injuries).
Conclusion. The results indicate the relative importance of several external causes of injury and how these vary by age group. This population-based information is also useful in establishing rational priorities for prevention, and the targeting of interventions toward responsible authorities.
- Received March 26, 2002.
- Accepted December 2, 2002.
- Copyright © 2003 by the American Academy of Pediatrics