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Child injury surveillance that guides interventions: the Beijing primary healthcare experience
  1. Huan Linnan1,
  2. Jianhua Duan2,
  3. Xinxin Chen3,
  4. Shujuan Yan4
  1. 1UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office, Bangkok, Thailand
  2. 2Infant Health Management Department, Beijing Maternal and Child Health Care Hospital, Beijing, China
  3. 3Children Health Care Division, Beijing Maternal and Child Health Care Hospital, Beijing, China
  4. 4Infant Health Management Department, Beijing Maternal and Child Health Care Hospital, Beijing, China
  1. Correspondence to Huan Linnan, Unicef East Asia and Pacific Regional Office, 2C Vanichapark, 139/9 Soi Luangsuan Ploenchit Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 100330, Thailand; hlinnan{at}


Objectives To provide feedback to guide injury prevention interventions and to test the feasibility of integrating injury surveillance into the existing primary healthcare service for children under 6 years of age.

Design This surveillance system was integrated into existing primary healthcare services at the community primary healthcare centre (PHC) and community kindergartens. Parents reported injury incidents during their child's routine health services at scheduled intervals. Kindergarten nurses registered injury incidents at the absentee recording system. A total of 8358 children annually were included into the surveillance in 2006–07.

Setting Two urban communities and three rural communities in Beijing, China.

Results The coverage rates were 93.7% in PHCs and 98% in kindergartens. The injury incidence rates in year 1 and year 2 were 2.7% and 1.9% respectively. The leading causes were falls, being hit by blunt object, and animal injury. Major causes of injury were different between urban and rural children. Over the two-year surveillance period, injury incidence rates declined significantly from 2.7% to 1.7% in urban communities. No significant decrease was seen in rural communities.

Conclusion Surveillance through the primary healthcare system in Beijing was useful in child injury prevention as data collected allowed managers to design targeted interventions that resulted in decreased injury. In comparison with hospital based surveillance, PHC based surveillance demonstrated an advantage in wide access to children and allowed calculation of injury incidence rates to monitor trends over time. PHC based surveillance can serve as a useful venue to collect child injury data.

  • Child
  • community
  • surveillance
  • health service
  • developing nations

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  • Funding Unicef China provided funding for this project. The project was a collaboration between Unicef China, the National Working Committee for Women and Children, and the Beijing Working Committee for Women and Children. Technical assistance was provided by The Alliance for Safe Children (TASC).

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.