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Rev Epidemiol Sante Publique. 2001 Apr;49(2):125-34.

[Frequency of childhood injuries: first results of the Boulogne-Billancourt registry].

[Article in French]

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Service de Santé publique et d'Information médicale, Hôpital Ambroise Paré, 9 avenue Charles de Gaulle, 92104 Boulogne-Billancourt.



Boulogne-Billancourt database is in France the only permanent and specific childhood injury surveillance system. Integrated in an safe community program designed by the World Health Organization (WHO), the aims of a local database are to provide precise information intended to implement prevention actions.


All children less than sixteen years old living in Boulogne-Billancourt, victims of injuries occurring in that town, and requiring hospital care, are targeted.


Two thousand five hundred and eighty accidents have been computed between 1(st) January 1998 and 31 December 1999, i.e. an average annual incidence of 79.7/1000 children. As in other similar databases, domestic accidents are prevalent in the average (40%), even though after five years old school injuries become the most frequent ones (36%). Falls are the main mechanism involved in injury at any age (44 to 54%). Distribution of other mechanisms varies with respect to age: foreign body prevalence is maximum between one and four (2.5%), struck-collisions (38%) between ten and fifteen years old. A significant increase of falls involving roller-skates or skateboards has been observed between 1998 and 1999 (3.8% versus 1.1%, p<0.001). Predominanting injury causes are contusions (38%), mainly head trauma (10%), open wounds (16%), fractures (10%), and sprains (6%). Two hundred and twenty four injuried children have been admitted in 1998, 205 in 1999, i.e. respectively 13.8/1000 and 12.7/1000 children dwelling in Boulogne. Overall recurrence rate is 32%, reaching 47% after eleven years old. A significant relationship has been observed between injury recurrence and problems related to education (odds ratio: 2.95; 95% CI: 1.75-5.00), atypical parenting situation (odds ratio: 1.70; 95% CI: 1.20-2.30), and family discord (odds ratio: 1.62; 95% CI: 1.05-2.50). Household accidents are the most avoidable ones in parents'opinion. This is not the case for road-traffic accidents, given evidence of the lack of means of protection observed in bicycle injuries.


In spite of methodological issues such as control of exhaustivity of data, or difficulties to maintain a long-term surveillance sytem, this project worth carrying on with regard to provided information and usefulness for prevention. Other similar community experiences should be implemented with the aim of setting up a national-wide surveillance system, based on an homogenous data collection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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