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Gesundheitswesen. 2006 Jul;68(7):421-8.

[Epidemiological Analysis of Injuries Among Children under 15 Years of Age in Germany--The Starting Point for Injury Prevention].

[Article in German]

Author information

  • 1Landesgesundheitsamt Brandenburg im LASV, Wünsdorf. Gabriele.Ellsaesser@LGA.Brandenburg.de

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The epidemiological analysis of injury circumstances can play an important role in implementing targeted injury prevention measures. The data available in Germany are being compiled in order to define risk groups, risk factors and the main accident causes.

METHOD:

A descriptive epidemiological analysis of injuries among children according to severity (fatality or hospitalization rate), frequency, age group, location, product involvement, ethnic background and social risk factors was carried out. The following data sources were drawn upon for the epidemiological analysis: official statistics, surveys on home and leisure accidents, social status data from school beginners' medical examinations in the federal states of Brandenburg and Schleswig-Holstein as well as population-based injury monitoring in the city of Delmenhorst (1998 - 2002).

RESULTS:

Since 1990, total injury mortality among children under 15 years has declined by more than two-thirds in Germany (from 10.2 to 3.0 per 100,000 during the period 1990 - 2004). This is true both for road traffic accidents and for home and leisure accidents. There is an age-specific distribution in terms of fatal accident causes: suffocation, drowning, falls and burns are the most common among the under 5-year-olds, while in school-age children road traffic accidents and drowning predominate. For several years, infants and toddlers have been the groups most at risk and hospitalisation figures for these groups are still sharply increasing. In the under 5-year-old group, accidents happen mainly in and around the home, whereas among school children (5 - 14 years) they occur most frequently at school, at home and during leisure activities, and on the roads. Accidents are often environment- and product-related. Children from ethnic minorities and low status families are the groups most at risk in terms of road traffic accidents and scalds.

CONCLUSION:

The epidemiological analysis of childrens' injuries should be the starting point for age- and environment-specific and product-related interventions. Intervention strategies should take into account parents' ethnic background as well as potential language barriers.

PMID:
16868868
DOI:
10.1055/s-2006-926917
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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