Background In metropolitan France, trauma is the leading cause of death among children under 15 years: 450 annual deaths (source: Epidemiological Centre for Medical Causes of Death), with 220 deaths due to home and leisure injuries (HLI). These rough mortality data do not describe the circumstances of the trauma resulting in death.
Methods A feasibility study was conducted in 2009 in three regions covering one third of the population of metropolitan France. Through a case review, the main objective was to accurately describe how these HLI occurred, in order to determine their risk factors. Its secondary objectives were to test the feasibility and evaluate the opportunity of extending and/or scaling up the monitoring of these deaths.
Results Results of this feasibility study based on 76 HLI death certificates led to contact 219 medical certifiers, among whom 93% filled the detailed questionnaire. The information collected allowed to characterise HLI and to identify risk factors: types and intensity of lack of supervision by adults (little child left alone at home, in the bath, parents asleep, etc.) in 75% of cases among children under 1 year and 57% among 1–4 years children; lack of awareness (groundnut given to a toddler); parent’s deny of risk (let a firearm accessible); the responsibility of dangerous products was mentioned in 43% among children under 15 years (for firearm, ring, crib bars, etc.) or misused by adults or children; the influence of inappropriate behaviour among teenagers in 70% of cases, etc.
Conclusions The conclusions of this feasibility survey are positive: data collection is effective and practicable with a high quality and exhaustiveness. They led in setting up a permanent survey at national scale on ‘‘Detailed analyses of deaths by trauma among children under 15’’, that started at end of 2015. The precise knowledge of the circumstances of these lethal traumas will be a basis to measure their avoidability and to prevent them.
- home and leisure injury
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