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451 Injury incidence of children below 5 years of age, in a community health division in Sri Lanka
  1. Indrakantha Welgama1,
  2. Piyanga Chandradasa2,
  3. Samath Dharmaratne3
  1. 1Office of the Regional Director of Health Services, Colombo, Sri Lanka
  2. 2Office of the Medical Officer of Health, Homagama, Sri Lanka
  3. 3Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka


Background Main objective of this study was to find the incidence and characteristics of injuries within the past 1 year period, suffered by children under 5 years of age in this selected community health division in Sri Lanka.

Methods This was a community based descriptive, cross sectional study covering a randomly selected area of the Homagama Community Health division in Colombo District. The population was children under 5 years who were permanent residents of that area, and a single child under the age of 5 years was randomly selected from each eligible family, following community household visits. A structured, pre-tested, interviewer administered questionnaire with trained interviewers and pictorial support material, was used for data collection, over 3 months period in 2013.

Results Of 2136 respondents, 552 (25.84%) had a history of injury during the past 1 year. Of the 1077 (50.42%) males, 26.92% have had injuries, while 24.74% of females too had injuries. Children aged 3 to 4 years were mainly vulnerable for injuries, while 35.3% of children have reported only one significant (as perceived by parents/guardians) injury during the past year. Common injury types were abrasions (45.82%), lacerations (17.06%) and contusions (9.7%). Of those reporting injuries, 4.35% had suffered fractures. Most of the causes for these injuries were falls (75.5%), followed by falling objects, animal attacks and burns. 67.5% of injuries had occurred at home while 17.4% had occurred in the home garden.

Conclusions From the findings of this study, it could be concluded that the incidence of injuries amongst under 5 year old children in the community in this area was 25.84% and also that the incidence was similar between both sexes. The commonest injuries were abrasions and lacerations while falls, falling objects, animal attacks and burns were the main causes of these injuries. Home and home garden were the common environments in which these injuries had occurred.

  • Preschool children
  • Community
  • Injuries

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