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Maternal reports of child injuries in Canada: trends and patterns by age and gender


Objectives—This study examines gender and age differences in maternal reports of injuries in a cross sectional group of children aged 0–11 years. The cause, nature, body part injured, and location of injury are explored, as are the associations with family socioeconomic indicators and associations with limitations in activities.

Methods—Data for 22 831 children and their families come from cycle 1 of the Canadian National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth collected in 1995. Descriptive analyses and χ2 tests for trends are used to examine injury variations by child gender and age. Logistic regressions are used to examine the relationship between socioeconomic indicators and injury and the associations between injury and limitations in activities.

Results—Consistent with findings from hospital data, boys experience more injuries than girls, and injuries increase with child age. Falls are the most common sources of maternally reported injuries, followed by scalds/poisonings for young children and sports injuries for school aged children. The majority of injuries occur in or around the home for young children, but at school for older children. For maternal reports of childhood injuries, single marital status is a risk factor for boys.

Conclusions—Maternally reported injuries occur in 10% of Canadian children and many of these are associated with limitations in activities. Preventative strategies should take both child age and gender into consideration.

  • maternal reports
  • limitations in activities
  • socioeconomic indicators

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