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Crossing busy city roads by pedistrian school-bound children: how vulnerable they remain for fatal RTAS in Bangladesh!
  1. Anwar Kazi Selim1,*,
  2. Mollah Abid Hossain2,
  3. SenGupta Pradip Kumar3,
  4. Monowar Syed Reaz4,
  5. Begum Ayesha5,
  6. Molla Azaher Ali6,
  7. Nahar Nazmun7
  1. Development Organization of Socio-economic, Health and Environmental Research (DOSHER), 701, Tongi Diversion Road, Moghbazar (Shifted at Punak Complex, 2nd Floor, 99/2, Moghbazar, Dhaka 1217, Bangladesh
  2. 1*Child & Adolescent Health Program, DOSHER
  3. 2Department of Pediatrics, Dhaka Medical College Hospital
  4. 3IMPACT Foundation Bangladesh
  5. 4Child Right Division, ORNOB
  6. 5Faculty of Food Science & Tech, Chittagong Veterinary & Animal Sciences Univ
  7. 6Institute of Heath Economics, University of Dhaka & EC-Member, DOSHER
  8. 7Department of Child Health, BIRDEM Med College & Hosp, Shabag Av. Dhaka, Bangladesh
  9. 1*Recently joined as Coordinator, QI Program at the CIPRB, H#B-162, Lane 23, New DOHS, Mohakhali, Dhaka 1206, Bangladesh

    Abstract

    Background Globally, Road-Traffic Accident (RTA)-induced injuries remain the second leading cause of death in 5–14 years old children. Contrary to safeguarding child's right, RTA constitutes a veritable epidemic among the pedestrian-children, two-third of which occurs in south-east-Asia. We report here the risky practices of reckless-road-crossing among school-children in Bangladesh, being vulnerable and resource constraint.

    Purpose To explore practices and compliances of road safety and traffic-rules/regulations by the pedestrian school-bound children while crossing busy city-roads.

    Methods Total 148 purposively selected school-bound children were studied cross-sectionally while crossing busy-roads adjacent to nine randomly-selected school-fringes in Dhaka city using a structured questionnaire.

    Outcome Of these school-bound children (mean age: 9.6±2.4 years), majority (87%) were found to run-off busy city-roads showing no difference in age-groups (p=0.122) or sex (p=0.164). School-girls were accompanied by mothers (75%) more than school-boys (25%) (p<0.03). Around 78% used to cross roads 2–3 times/day, recklessly, even knowing its dangerous-consequences. Alarmingly, no zebra-crossing/over-bridge existed in 56% and no traffic-police seen in ∼half of school-fringes surveyed. More shockingly, most of on-duty traffic-police (69%) showed reluctant-attitude to come forward to assist these children in crossing roads, safely. Nearly 24% of children who had RTA once or twice within the last 12 months, 10% sustained severe and 14% had minor injuries, as informed.

    Significance/Contribution This alarming scenario demands immediate intervention to save these children from fatal RTAs by concerned departments, instituting zebra-crossing/over-bridge, deploying ‘STOP’/lollipop-guides and enforcing low-speed of vehicle near school-fringes. Creating mass-awareness among these children/mothers through periodic education/practical-training on road-safety and traffic-regulations remains imperative.

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