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Indian Journal of Community Medicine

Profile of accidents in children less than five years of age belonging to a rural community in Belgaum district

Author(s): Nath Anita, Naik Vijaya A

Vol. 32, No. 2 (2007-04 - 2007-06)

SHORT ARTICLE

Year : 2007 | Volume : 32 | Issue : 2 | Page : 133-134

Profile of accidents in children less than five years of age belonging to a rural community in Belgaum district

Nath Anita, Naik Vijaya A
Department of Community Medicine, J. N. Medical College, Belgaum, Karnataka, India
Date of Submission 01-Dec-2005

Correspondence Address:
Nath Anita
K-3/53, DLF City 2, Gurgaon, Haryana - 122 002
India

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

How to cite this article:
Nath A, Naik VA. Profile of accidents in children less than five years of age belonging to a rural community in Belgaum district. Indian J Community Med 2007;32:133-4

How to cite this URL:
Nath A, Naik VA. Profile of accidents in children less than five years of age belonging to a rural community in Belgaum district. Indian J Community Med [serial online] 2007 [cited 2007 Nov 30];32:133-4. Available from: http://www.ijcm.org.in/text.asp?2007/32/2/133/35653

In today's world, in the developed as well as the developing countries, danger prevails not only on the roads, but it also exists in the home and playgrounds. Every year, thousands of children die or are permanently disabled as a result of accidental injuries. In many developing countries, injuries are one of the major causes of death in children in the age group of 1-5 years. [1] Many studies have been undertaken in different parts of the world and in India to study the epidemiology of injuries in children under 5 years of age. Most of these studies are hospital-based. This gives only a limited picture of the situation. The present study was undertaken to fill-up this data gap.

Materials and Methods

The present study was a longitudinal study conducted over a period of one year from January 1, 2002 to December 31, 2002, in Shindolli village-a rural field practice area of the Department of Community Medicine, J. N. Medical College, Belgaum, Karnataka. All the 325 children whose parents were permanent residents of the area were included in the study. The accidents were classified according to the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (Tenth Revision), which are listed from code V01 to X59 in chapter XX. In the beginning, a cross-sectional study was performed involving all the 325 children in order to acquire data with regard to age and sex distribution and to collect information regarding socio-demographic variables. Each child was then followed up by fortnightly home visits. In case a child had met with an accident, the details were noted down in a pre-designed and pre-tested pro-forma for that child. The information was collected by interviewing the parents/guardian of the child. Details with regard to the cause of accident, type of injury, site of injury etc., were recorded. A detailed clinical examination of the injured child was also carried out. The data was analyzed using the Z test.

Results

The incidence rate of accidents in the children studied was found to be 3.13 per 100 child months or 0.35 per child per year. The total number of injuries recorded was 135. Causes of the injuries are shown in [Table - 1].

The maximum number of accidents-51 (38.93%)-occurred in the age group of 49-60 months, followed by 28 episodes (21.37%) in the age group of 37-48 months ( P < 0.001). The incidence rate in the age group of 49-60 months was 5.87 per 100 child months. A majority of the accident episodes (70.3%) occurred in the males ( P < 0.001) [Table - 2].

Overall, abrasions accounted for the majority of the injury types (72.6%), followed by cuts and lacerated wounds (11.8%), avulsions (6.6%), contusions (4.4%), burns (3.8%), and bite wounds (0.8%). In some episodes of accidents, more than one type of the injury was observed in the injured child. Very few houses had wooden guards on windows or doors.

Discussion

Our study showed that 38.93% of the accidents occurred in the children belonging to the age group 49-60 months. This is analogous to the findings of a study done in the field practice area of the PGIMER, Chandigarh in which maximum number of accidents occurred in the age group of 25-36 months.[2] In our study, it was found that the falls accounted for 81.67% of the accidents. Similarly, an analysis of accident cases in young children in Jaipur showed that falls from height were most commonly encountered (57.1%).[3] The present study showed that a majority (70.3%) of the accident episodes occurred in males. Kalra et al. , in their study on accidents in children belonging to an urban area in Agra have shown that 69% of the accidents took place in boys and 30.9% in girls.[4] All the accidents that were reported in the present study were non-fatal. A larger sample size and a longer duration of study period would be needed in order to study, in depth, the epidemiology of accidents in children less than 5 years of age. The findings in our study, thus, call for modifying and improving the environmental conditions. Housing standards need to be improved with guards installed in the windows and doors. It also calls for stricter parental supervision when the child is learning to walk and trying to explore his surroundings. This could be achieved by means of health education by the grass-root level health workers. In conclusion, comprehensive approaches to accident prevention are needed; such approaches are likely to be most effective in reducing childhood injuries.

References

1. Manciaux M, Romer CJ. Accidents in childhood and adolescence: A priority problem worldwide. In : Manciaux M, Romer CJ, editors. Accidents in childhood and adolescence- the role of research. World Health Organization and Institute National de la Sante' et de la Recherche Medicale (INSERM): Geneva; 1991. p. 1-7.
2. Tiagi C, Walia I, Singh A. Prevalence of minor injuries among underfives in a Chandigarh slum. Indian Pediatr 2000;37:755-8. [PUBMED] [FULLTEXT]
3. Sitaram S, Sharma U, Saxena S, Sogani KC. Accidents in infancy and childhood. Indian Pediatr 1985;22:815-8.
4. Tandon JN, Kalra A, Kalra K, Sahu SC, Nigam CB, Qureshi GU. Profile of accidents in children. Indian Pediatr 1993;30:765-9. [PUBMED]

Tables

Table 1: Distribution of accidents based on the cause

Table 1: Distribution of accidents based on the cause

[Table - 2]

Table 2: Age and site of injury

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