Background Road crashes are a primary cause of injury among children in Israel. The Ultra-Orthodox Jewish (UOJ) population in Israel is characterised by low socioeconomic status, large families, low employment, and a low level of secular educational attainment, all of which may affect the safety of children in this community. Safety experts surmise that UOJ children are at greater risk for injuries in road crashes, however to date there is insufficient data supporting this hypothesis.
Objectives Characterise injury patterns and identify risk taking behaviours of child pedestrians in the UOJ community.
Methods Analysis of injury data based on national traffic injury, trauma registry, and emergency department data. Observational surveys of child pedestrians at intersections and on arrival to school in UOJ communities.
Results Findings demonstrate that child pedestrians in UOJ communities are at higher risk of injury, percent of UOJ children injured 1.5 times the general Jewish population. Hospital data point to higher admissions for age 0–9 from UOJ communities (82.5%) in contrast to comparison communities (65%). Observational surveys point to unique risk taking behaviours: overall 63% of the children crossed at intersections in an unsafe manner and 22% of children age 3–5 crossed without adult supervision.
Contribution to the Field First in depth analysis of injury and behaviours of UOJ child pedestrians corroborates the long-standing belief that this community is at risk for road injuries. Interventions must be tailored to the culture and setting of the UOJ community.
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