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Preventative pathology and childhood injury
  1. Roger W Byard
  1. State Forensic Science Centre, Department of Histopathology, Women's and Children's Hospital, Department of Paediatrics, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia
  1. Correspondence to:
 Associate Professor Roger W Byard, State Forensic Science Centre, 21 Divett Place, Adelaide, 5000 Australia
 (e-mail: byardr01{at}


Objective—To delineate a role for pathologists in coordinating the study of childhood deaths due to injury and in developing public safety recommendations.

Methods—Ongoing evaluation of cases of death due to injury occurring in children under 16 years, with formal review of all cases of fatal pediatric injuries recorded in the Department of Histopathology, Women's and Children's Hospital, over the past 35 years, has been undertaken as a part of the “Keeping Your Baby and Child Safe” programme.

Results—Information obtained from these cases has been used to formulate a number of safety recommendations dealing with unsafe sleeping environments, unsafe eating practices, scalding, and dangerous farm environments. Some products have been withdrawn from sale and other products modified.

Conclusions—Pathologists often have extensive knowledge of childhood injuries, which can contribute significantly to health promotion initiatives and community education programmes.

  • preventative pathology
  • public health

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