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For the Safety of Canadian Children and Youth. From Injury Data to Preventive Measures.
  1. Bernard Guyer
  1. Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Baltimore, USA

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    Produced by Health Canada. (Pp 291.) Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Canada, 1997. Available from Canadian Government Publishing-PWGSC, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0S9 ( ISBN 0-660-17066-3.

    This publication from Health Canada is both a reference volume and a guide for research, policy and practice, written by an expert panel under the direction of Ginette Beaulne from the Direction de la sante publique de Montreal-Centre, Quebec. The intended audience for this volume is “professionals working in injury prevention, especially those working in public health”.

    The data on injury among children and youth derive from two important sources: death data come from the vital statistics files and hospitalization data come from a registry of all hospitalizations in Canadian hospitals (90% of injury hospitalizations are E coded) collected by the national statistical agency, Statistics Canada. Data on childhood consultations in emergency rooms derive from the Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program (CHIRPP), with injury reports on all emergency room visits coming from 16 hospitals in Canada. Some limitations of the collection and classification of the data are carefully documented and discussed.

    The chapters of this volume are organized by category of injury, chosen on the basis of external causes. In addition to the standard classifications, there are chapters on farm related injury, work related injury, and overviews of motor vehicle, sports and recreation, and residential environmental injuries. Each thematic chapter is organized into three sections: (1) a profile of deaths and hospitalizations, based on the data from the national sources, including charts, figures, and background data; (2) an overview of the circumstances surrounding the injuries in the Canadian context, based on emergency room consultation data drawn from CHIRPP; and (3) opportunities for action including research priorities and preventive measures, again in the Canadian context.

    The presentations of the data in this chart book are comprehensive and careful, with figures supported by background numbers and definitions. In relation to many injuries, historical trends are shown. The limitations of the data, particularly problems of definitions and coding inconsistencies are carefully documented.

    The volume is encyclopedic and colorfully presented. Nearly every page is busy with data, figures, text, and footnotes. The recommendations are detailed and comprehensive, but not ranked by priority. While this volume is not easy reading, it provides superb reference material and important comparative data. For researchers and policymakers in the United States this chart book provides a comprehensive data set, which should be compared with the Injury Chart book from the National Center for Health Statistics.1 Get a copy, in either English or French, for your reference shelf.