Unintentional residential child injury surveillance in Hong Kong


 Dr CC Chan, Department of Applied Social Sciences, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China. Fax: +852 2773 6558; email: sschchan@polyu.edu.hk


Objectives:  To provide an overall pattern of morbidity in unintentional residential childhood injuries (URCI) in Hong Kong.

Methodology:  A cross-sectional telephone survey of caregivers of children aged under 16-years and adolescents suffering from URCI and admitted to three selected local Accident and Emergency Departments.

Results:  Falls, cuts and scalds were the most common external causes of URCI observed, while boys predominated in the sample population. Most of the observed URCI were of moderate to mild severity. Children of new immigrant mothers were more likely to receive first aid immediately after the incidents. Parents were aware of potentially injurious behaviour and intervened on occasion, but most resorted to verbal warnings only.

Conclusions:  Prevalence of falls among observed URCI offers evidence in support of the hypothesis that the high population density in Hong Kong plays an integral role in understanding mechanisms of morbidity. Parents show concern about URCI but often lack substantial action that modifies injury risk. Considering the local injury differentials, an active prevention effort such as behavioural intervention and education for parents may be useful.