• child health;
  • preschool children;
  • sleep;
  • unintentional injuries

ABSTRACT Objective: The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between adequacy of sleep and injuries sustained by children between 18 months and 4 years of age.

Design, sample, and measures: Data from a descriptive, longitudinal study of 278 mothers and their preschool children were collected in Rochester, NY, from September 2002 to December 2004. Participants were recruited from 4 pediatric practices. The number of medically attended injuries that each child sustained between 18 months and 4 years of age served as the dependent variable. Data on injuries were collected through maternal report and medical record abstraction. Mothers reported on the child's sleep. The relationships among variables were evaluated using Pearson correlation coefficients and Poisson regression analysis.

Results: Children who did not get enough sleep sustained a higher number of medically attended injuries. The results were significant even after controlling for key demographic variables and child's temperament.

Conclusions: The present findings provide support for a relationship between children's sleep and injuries. Improving children's sleep hygiene may be an important component of parental interventions to reduce preschoolers' unintentional injuries.