Purpose: To study the incidence and outcome of intentional injuries requiring emergency room (ER) care among children and adolescents in a national sample. Method: The population included 0- to 17-year-olds who presented to the ER for injuries in 23 hospitals over a 1-year period. A 6% to 9% random sample of days was selected in each hospital, and for each selected day the relevant ER record was reviewed for cause, nature, and outcome of injuries and sociodemographic information. Results: The annual incidence for intentional injuries resulting in ER visits was 19.6 in 10,000 children and adolescents aged 0 to 17 [95% confidence interval (CI) 17.4-21.8 in 10,000]. Fights/assaults constituted 54.1% of the presentations, abuse and rape, 10.3%, and self-inflicted injuries, 10.8%. Overall rates were higher among 10- to 17 year olds than at younger ages. The rates were higher among boys than girls for fights/assaults and abuse, whereas attempted suicide and rape were three times higher among girls than boys. Nearly twice as many Jewish children and adolescents presented to the ER for intentional injuries than Arab children and adolescents, with the ratio becoming even greater for attempted suicide.Of all the intentionally injured, 21.7% were hospitalized. The mortality rate was 1.1 in 100,000 (95% CI = .7-1.7/100,00) with no significant gender difference observed. No cases of suicide were reported for the Arab population. Conclusions: Adolescents aged 10 years and older are at higher risk for intentional injuries than younger children. The ethnic differences evident in this study, especially for attempted and completed suicide, may be real or the result of differential disclosure of information owing to sociocultural norms or differential recording by health professionals. Copyright (C) 2000 Society for Adolescent Medicine.
- Gender differences
- Intentional injuries
- Self-inflicted injuries
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health