Background Injuries are a leading cause of death and disability in children. The majority of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries and disproportionately on children from the most disadvantaged groups.
Methods During April – May 2014, the Health Behaviour in School Aged Children (HBSC) study was conducted in Albania, including a representative sample of 4898 school children (2507 girls and 2391 boys) aged 11, 13 and 15 years. The data were collected through self-completion questionnaires administered in the classroom.
Results 35% of the children 11, 13, 15 years reported that during the past year they have been injured at least once, in such a manner that they needed medical intervention. Of these, 11% have required serious medical interventions up to hospitalisation. Home surroundings (11%), sport facilities (8%), school (6%) and streets (4%) are the most frequent environments for the occurrence of injuries among children. About 14% of the children have been injured during sport exercises, whereas 7% of the them have been injured while walking in the street. In all cases, boys have been substantially more injured compared with the girls.
Conclusions Our findings indicate the urgent need for improving the environment where children are involved, for being safe and free from injury. Informing interventions to prevent and reduce injuries among children should be a priority of public health as well as, programmes for child health should give priority to preventing and controlling child injuries in Albania.
- HBSC study
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