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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


UNGLERT, Carmen Vieira de Sousa; SIQUEIRA, Arnaldo Augusto Franco de  and  CARVALHO, Gizélia Andrade. Epidemiological characteristics of childhood accidents. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 1987, vol.21, n.3, pp.234-245. ISSN 1518-8787.

The epidemiological characteristics of those accidents which had happened to children in the previous 2 years were studied by means of interviews with the families of children less than 12 years of age, who had been assisted in two Health Centres in an outlying area of S. Paulo City, Brazil. A total of 388 families were interviewed, with a total of 1036 children less than 12 years old. Of these families, 289 did not report any accident involving children during the previous 2 years, but 99 families reported at least one accident, and a total of 122 accidents were registered. The most frequent types of accidents were falls (54.1%), wounds produced by cutting and piercing instruments of objects (13.1%) and animal bites (9.8%). The most frequent lesions were open wounds (68%). The greatest incidence of accidents occurred in boys of 5 to 9 years old, followed by that in boys of 10 to 11 years of age. Recovery was complete in 88.5% of the cases, but there were 9.8% of cases (12) with partial recovery with scars, one case of partial, limited, recovery and one death. Only 9% of the cases needed hospitalization, but in 32% of the accidents 15 or more days were needed for recovery. The mortality rate in this study was 114.9 deaths per 100,000 children under 12 years of age per year, and the fatality rate was 8.2 deaths per thousand accidents. This study of accidents permitted the addition of complimentary data which favour a better epidemilogic charaterization characterization of accidents in children.

Keywords : Child; Accidents; Epidemiology; Mortality; Morbidity.

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