Some Minority Children More Likely To Have Fatal Accidents Than Whites, Study Finds
Black, American Indian and Alaska Native children are more likely than others to die in accidents involving fire, suffocation, poisoning, falls, vehicle collisions and firearms, according to a report released Monday by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Columbus Dispatch reports (Williams, Columbus Dispatch, 4/2). For the study, published in the April issue of the journal Pediatrics, lead author Joyce Pressley -- assistant professor of epidemiology, health policy and management at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health -- and colleagues examined national statistics between 1981 and 2003 on fatal injuries among children from birth to age four in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Researchers sought to determine whether national accident prevention campaigns were reaching different groups. They found that the rate of accidental fatal injuries declined among all racial and ethnic groups during the study period. Still, the report found that the rate of fatal injuries in 2003 was highest among American Indian/Alaska Native and black children. According to the report:
- American Indian and Alaska Natives had the highest fatal injury rate among children with 37.2 fatal injuries per 100,000 children;
- Black children had the second highest rate with 30 fatal injuries per 100,000 children;
- White children had a rate of 16 fatal injuries per 100,000 children
- Hispanics had a rate of 14.8 injuries per 100,000 children; and
- Asian and Pacific Islanders had the lowest rate with 7.9 fatal injuries per 100,000 children (Dotinga, HealthDay/Washington Post, 4/2).
Michael Mello, director of the Injury Prevention Center at Rhode Island Hospital, said minority children's environments might contribute to their higher rates of fatal injuries, adding, "They may have also not received injury-prevention messages. Injury-prevention messages must be delivered in a culturally tailored format to be understood and adopted by all groups." Mello said, "We have many evidence-based injury-prevention strategies, but we need to research how to translate them to be adopted, implemented and maintained in all of our communities" (HealthDay/Washington Post, 4/2).
An abstract of the study is available online.