An examination of traffic-related traumatic injuries among children at a Level-1 pediatric trauma center, 2005–2014

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Traffic-related injuries are the leading fatal injury among children in the United States, but no published study compares the different types of traffic-related pediatric injuries to date. Thus, this study was aimed at examining the10-year trend of traffic-related injury among children at a pediatric hospital and to assess if there were differences in injury mechanism.

METHODS

All data were drawn from a Level-1 pediatric trauma center in North Texas in 2005–2014. Demographic characteristics, length of hospitalization, and patient type were included. Severity of injury outcome was assessed by injury severity score and fatality. The traffic-related injury mechanism included motor vehicle collision (MVC), motor-pedestrian collision (MPC), and motorcycle/moped collision (MMC). Description analyses and multinominal logistic regressions were applied to examine the factors associated with the type of motor-related injuries adjusting for covariates. All analyses were conducted by STATA version 14.0.

RESULTS

A total of 3,742 traffic-related pediatric injuries were identified. The mean (SD) age was 6.4 (4.0) years; most patients were boys (59%) and Hispanic (40%). There was a waving trend of the number of traffic-related injuries over the 10-year period. Compared with MVC, demographic disparities exist with children experiencing an MPC injury. Hispanic and African American children were more likely to have an MPC but less likely to have a motorcycle/moped collision injury (relative risk [RR], 1.6; 95% confidence interval, 1.3–1.9; RR, 2.0; 95% confidence interval, 1.9–2.4, respectively). Children with an MPC injury had a more severe outcome than those with an MVC injury, but no difference was found in fatality. The MCC injuries did not significantly differ from MVC in injury severity.

CONCLUSIONS

Although efforts have been made to prevent MVC-related pediatric injuries, the trend of MVCs was stable in the most recent years. The MPC-related injury continues to be a higher likelihood of severe pediatric trauma. Thus, continuing efforts and innovative intervention programs are still needed to prevent traffic-related pediatric injuries.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE

Epidemiologic study, level III.

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