Background: Childhood injury remains a significant public health problem responsible for significant morbidity and mortality. However, injury has been found to increase with socioeconomic disadvantage for some injuries. The current study examines the 10-year epidemiological profile of injury hospitalisations of children ≤16 years by socioeconomic status for different age group and select types of injury. Method: A retrospective analysis of injury hospitalisations of children aged ≤16 years using linked hospitalisation and mortality records during 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2012 was conducted. Negative binomial regression was used to calculate incidence rate ratios (IRRs) for injury hospitalisation rates by socioeconomic disadvantage quintile. Results: There were 679,171 injury hospitalisations for children aged 0-16 years in Australia. Children in more disadvantaged socioeconomic quintiles were more likely to be hospitalised for an injury sustained by: assault (IRR range 1.40 to 3.64), poisoning (IRR range 1.29 to 1.36), heat and hot substances (IRR range 1.07 to 1.34), and pedestrian collisions (IRR range 1.06 to 1.54) than children in advantaged socioeconomic quintiles. Conclusions: Findings support the notion that the risk of injury hospitalisation among children differs according to socioeconomic gradient and has implications for childhood injury prevention. Policy makers should consider socioeconomic differences in the design of injury prevention measures, particularly measures directed at modifying the built environment and home-based interventions.
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- Childhood injury
- Socioeconomic disadvantage