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J Pediatr Surg. 2013 May;48(5):1065-70. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2013.02.023.

The impact of fatal pediatric trauma on aboriginal children.

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Pediatric General Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6G-2B7.



Injuries are the leading cause of death in young people. Our aim is to examine the differences between aboriginal and non-aboriginal pediatric trauma mortality as a means to focus on prevention strategies.


The records for all traumatic pediatric (0-18 years) deaths between 1996 and 2010 were reviewed from the regional Medical Examiner's office.


The majority of the total 932 pediatric deaths were the result of non-intentional injuries (640) followed by suicide (195), homicide (65), child abuse (15), and undetermined (17). Despite being only 3.3% of the provincial population, Aboriginals represented 30.9% of pediatric trauma fatalities. Aboriginal fatalities occurred most commonly in the home, with males and females equally affected. Road related events were the main causes of injury overall. Up to three-quarters of Aboriginal children who died in a non-pedestrian road related event did not wear an indicated protective device. Pedestrian deaths were over-represented in Aboriginal children. The second most common cause of death was suicide for both non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal children. Almost half of all of the suicides were Aboriginal. Homicide and child abuse had similar proportions for both non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal children.


Pediatric Aboriginal injury prevention should be a priority and tailored for Aboriginal communities.

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