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Canadian Child Safety Report Card: a comparison of injury prevention practices across provinces

Abstract

Background Injury prevention report cards that raise awareness about the preventability of childhood injuries have been published by the European Child Safety Alliance and the WHO. These report cards highlight the variance in injury prevention practices around the world. Policymakers and stakeholders have identified research evidence as an important enabler to the enactment of injury legislation. In Canada, there is currently no childhood injury report card that ranks provinces on injury rates or evidence-based prevention policies.

Methods Three key measures, with five metrics, were used to compare provinces on childhood injury prevention rates and strategies, including morbidity, mortality and policy indicators over time (2006–2012). Nine provinces were ranked on five metrics: (1) population-based hospitalisation rate/100 000; (2) per cent change in hospitalisation rate/100 000; (3) population-based mortality rate/100 000; (4) per cent change in mortality rate/100 000; (5) evidence-based policy assessment.

Results Of the nine provinces analysed, British Columbia ranked highest in Canada and Saskatchewan lowest. British Columbia had a morbidity and mortality rate that was close to the Canadian average and decreased over the study period. British Columbia also had a number of injury prevention policies and legislation in place that followed best practice guidelines. Saskatchewan had a higher rate of injury hospitalisation and death; however, Saskatchewan’s rate decreased over time. Saskatchewan had a number of prevention policies in place but had not enacted bicycle helmet legislation.

Conclusions Future preventative efforts should focus on harmonising policies across all provinces in Canada that reflect evidence-based best practices.

  • epidemiology
  • childhood injury
  • report card
  • Canada

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