Aim To perform a systematic review of community-based studies on unintentional injuries in children in WHO's South-East Asian countries to summarise and compare rates of and risk factors for injuries.
Background Globally, injuries are among the leading causes of death and disease burden in children. The proportion of deaths due to injuries is significantly higher in the South-East Asia region. However, there is big difference in the mortalities within the region.
Methods Medline, Embase and CINAHL were searched for publications on all types of unintentional child injuries in this region published between 01 January 2000 and 31 December 2009. Data were extracted to standard spreadsheets and narratively synthesised.
Results A total of 32 studies from six countries were included in the review. There were 13 studies on all injuries, 6 on RTIs, 5 on animal bites, 3 each on drowning and disasters, and 3 on burns. Rates of non-fatal injuries varied from 14 per 1000 (Thailand, 1–17 year), 15 (Bangladesh, 0–17 year), 24 (India, 0–14 year), 220 (Sri Lanka, 0–19 year), with rates among rural children higher in all countries. The rates for fatal injuries ranged from 37/100 000 in Thailand to 44/100 000 in Bangladesh.
Conclusion Community-based studies have shown the extent of the problem of unintentional injuries in children and young adolescents. Insights from the review will be used in the development of a community-based study of children aged 0–17 years in Nepal.
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