Paediatric pedestrian trauma: The danger after school


Dr James Hamill, Children's Trauma Service, Starship Children's Hospital, Private Bag 92024, Auckland, New Zealand. Fax: +64 93078952; email:


Aim:  To examine the demographics of road pedestrian trauma in children in the Auckland region and to provide data that can help target prevention strategies.

Methods:  A retrospective analysis was conducted of all children (0–14 years) in the Auckland region admitted to the hospital or killed following a pedestrian versus vehicle injury for the 6-year period 2000–2005. Excluded were pedestrians injured in a driveway.

Results:  Over the 6-year period, 364 children were involved in pedestrian crashes resulting in 25 deaths. The median age was 7 years. Males comprised 63%. Pacific Islanders and Maori were over-represented. Three hundred seventeen patients had injury times recorded. Of these, 49% occurred between 3 and 7 pm. Injury peaks for school days showed a tri-modal pattern with injury peaks at 8–9 am, 3–4 pm and 5–6 pm with the 3–4 pm after-school peak predominating.

Conclusion:  Prevention strategies should concentrate on the hours after school finishes and should be tailored for Maori and Pacific Island communities.