Descriptive Epidemiology of Unintentional Childhood Injuries in India: An ICMR Taskforce Multisite Study

ICMR Taskforce on Childhood Injuries

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1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Children 0–14 years constitute about 31.4% of Indian population, among whom the magnitude and risk factors of childhood injuries have not been adequately studied. Objective: To study the prevalence of and assess the factors associated with unintentional injuries among children aged 6 month–18 years in various regions. Methodology: This multi-centric, cross-sectional, community-based study was conducted at 11 sites across India. States included were Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal between March, 2018 and September, 2020. A total of 2341 urban and rural households from each site were selected based on probability proportionate to size. The World Health Organization (WHO) child injury questionnaire adapted to the Indian settings was used after validation. Information on injuries was collected for previous 12 months. Definitions for types (road traffic accidents, falls, burns, poisoning, drowning, animal-related injuries) and severity of injuries was adapted from the WHO study. Information was elicited from parents/primary caregivers. Data were collected electronically, and handled with a management information system. Results: In the 25751 households studied, there were 31020 children aged 6 months–18 years. A total of 1452 children (66.1% males) had 1535 unintentional injuries (excluding minor injuries) had occurred in the preceding one year. The overall prevalence of unintentional injuries excluding minor injuries was 4.7% (95% CI: 4.4–4.9). The commonest type of injury was fall-related (842, 54.8%) and the least common was drowning (3, 0.2%). Injuries in the home environment accounted for more than 50% of cases. Conclusions: The findings of the study provide inputs for developing a comprehensive child injury prevention policy in the country. Child safe school with age-appropriate measures, a safe home environment, and road safety measures for children should be a three-pronged approach in minimizing the number and the severity of child injuries both in urban and rural areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-524
Number of pages8
JournalIndian Pediatrics
Volume58
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 06-2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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