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Ann Trop Paediatr. 2001 Sep;21(3):239-43.

Incidence of childhood accidents determined in a study based on home surveys.

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Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil.


A retrospective survey of accidents during a 12-month period was carried out at Vila Lobato in the town of Ribeirão Preto, Brazil using home surveys involving 25% of residences in this area. Variables relating to the accidents and data concerning the children involved were analyzed, i.e. sex, age, type of accident, place of occurrence, time of day, time of year, which part of the body was involved and the person accompanying the victim of the accident. There were 260 accidents during the year, mainly involving the 1-5-year (41.1%) and 5-10-year (33.1%) age ranges. The most frequent accidents were falls (46.9%), contusions (26.5%) and cuts (11.9%). Most accidents occurred at home (65.7%), followed by in the street (25.4%) and at school (6.1%). More accidents occurred in the late afternoon (49.6%) and during the summer months and school holidays (38.1%) than at other times. The lower limbs were the sites most often involved (36.9%), followed by the upper limbs (32.3%) and the head (25.4%). Most children (75.7%) were accompanied when they suffered an accident. Slightly more boys (55.4%) than girls (44.6%) had accidents. Statistical analysis of the results by the chi 2 test showed significant differences for all variables studied with respect to the occurrence of accidents (p < 0.05), except gender. The authors discuss the need to expand the debate on accidents and for the application of knowledge to prevent them occurring.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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