A total of 95 811 students aged 13–15 years participated in nationally representative Global School-based Student Health Surveys (GSHS) in 47 low-income and middle-income countries conducted between 2003 and 2012. On average, about 40% of the participants in each country reported at least one injury in the past year that was serious enough to cause the student to miss at least one full day of usual activities (such as school, sports and a job) or to require treatment by a healthcare professional. In 40 of the 47 countries, boys reported a significantly higher injury rate than girls. Based on these numbers, injuries likely cause approximately four million days of school absence by lower secondary school students annually. Most of these injuries are preventable.
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Contributors Both the authors contributed to the design of the study, analysis of data, interpretation of results and writing the manuscript.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data sharing statement All data used in this analysis are available for free download online from the WHO and CDC.