Background Globally, injuries cause death and disability for millions of children every year. Literature from high-income rapidly developing countries, such as the Arab Gulf states, on this burden is sparse. Realising this gap, a surveillance system was established in two hospitals of Oman. Data on childhood injuries was collected and analysed to better understand such injuries in the Arab Gulf States.
Methods Data was collected over a 6-month period in two large hospitals of Oman. All patients up to18 years who were admitted with a history of trauma between October 2014 and April 2015 were included. External cause and place of occurrence according to age and sex was analysed.
Findings 35% of all cases were paediatric (891/2549 cases) and of those, 69.3% were males. Children between 0–5 years accounted for 53% of the study population. Most common external causes of injuries were falls (51%), exposure to mechanical forces (20.4%), and transport injuries (16.5%) for all ages. Analysis by age revealed that falls accounted for 50.9% of injuries for ages 0–5 years and 53.3% for 6–12 years. Transport injuries (43.5%) were the most common cause for children 13–18 years, which were also more common in males (20%) than females (8.4%). Larger proportion of females (13.5%) was injured by contact with heat and hot substances vs. males (6%). Home was the place of injury for most children 0–5 years (86.4%) and 6–12 years (61.5%), whereas streets and highways were the most common place of injuries for age 13–18 years.
Conclusion Childhood injuries are a significant cause of hospital admissions in Oman. Significant age-related differences in cause of injury highlight the need for targeted interventions. Prevention of home-based falls and transport injuries must be a priority for all children. Additionally, road safety interventions and education must be the top agenda for young Omani males.
- Childhood injuries
- Injury prevention
- Road safety
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