Fatal unintentional injuries among young children - A hospital based retrospective analysis

Tanuj Kanchan, Ritesh G. Menezes, Francis N.P. Monteiro

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Unintentional (accidental) injuries in childhood constitute a significant public health problem. Young children are extremely vulnerable to unintentional injuries that are vastly preventable. All cases of fatal unintentional injuries in children aged 10 years and below autopsied during 1994-2007 were retrospectively reviewed. Seventy five such cases were identified during the 14 year study period. Males accounted for 68% of cases with a male-female ratio of 2.1:1. Mean age of male and female victims was 5.3 and 4.9 years, respectively. Road traffic fatalities accounted for majority of the cases in this age group (52%), followed by those due to thermal injuries (22.7%). Flame was the cause of thermal injuries in 52.9% cases and scalds were observed in 47.1% cases. Traffic fatalities, fall and drowning were more common in school age children while toddlers and pre-school age children were relatively at a greater risk from domestic accidents (thermal injuries and poisoning). The most frequent victims of road traffic incidents were pedestrians (64.1%). Head injuries alone were the cause of fatalities in the majority of road traffic incidents (82.1%). The study highlights on the pattern of fatalities due to unintentional injuries among young children. To reduce the burden of unintentional childhood mortalities in this region, priorities for school age children are traffic injuries and for toddlers and pre-school children, thermal injuries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-311
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Accidents
  • Children
  • Epidemiology
  • Trauma
  • Unintentional injuries


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