Descriptive Correlates of Urban Pediatric Violent Injury Using Emergency Medical Service Patient-Level Data

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Abstract

Objective

This study aimed to describe spatiotemporal correlates of pediatric violent injury in an urban community.

Methods

We performed a retrospective cohort study using patient-level data (2009–2011) from a novel emergency medical service computerized entry system for violent injury resulting in an ambulance dispatch among children aged 0 to 16 years. Assault location and patient residence location were cleaned and geocoded at a success rate of 98%. Distances from the assault location to both home and nearest school were calculated. Time and day of injury were used to evaluate temporal trends. Data from the event points were analyzed to locate injury “hotspots.”

Results

Seventy-six percent of events occurred within 2 blocks of the patient's home. Clusters of violent injury correlated with areas with high adult crime and areas with multiple schools. More than half of the events occurred between 3:00 PM and 11:00 PM. During these peak hours, Sundays had significantly fewer events.

Conclusions

Pediatric violent injuries occurred in identifiable geographic and temporal patterns. This has implications for injury prevention programming to prioritize highest-risk areas.

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