OBJECTIVES: To examine the association between sensory deficit and the risk of child pedestrian-motor vehicle collisions. SETTING: The Auckland region of New Zealand. METHODS: A community based case-control study was conducted. Cases (n = 190) were all children (< 15 years) killed or hospitalised as a result of a pedestrian injury occurring on a public road between 1 January 1992 and 1 March 1994. Controls (n = 479) were a random sample of the child population. RESULTS: The risk of pedestrian injury for children whose parents reported abnormal vision was over four times that of children with reported normal vision (odds ratio = 4.25, 95% confidence interval 1.68 to 10.8). The risk of injury for children whose parents reported abnormal hearing was close to twice that of children with reported normal hearing (odds ratio = 1.73, 95% confidence interval 0.83 to 3.61). CONCLUSIONS: Children with sensory deficits constitute a high risk group for pedestrian injuries. Paediatricians caring for children with sensory impairments should be aware of this increased risk.
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