Introduction Unintentional injuries are a leading cause of death among children and young adults. Over 875 000 children ≤18 years of age die annually in the world as a result of injuries, mostly in low- and middle-income countries. Objective is to describe epidemiology of childhood unintentional home injuries in Karachi, Pakistan.
Methods This was secondary analysis of a childhood unintentional injury surveillance database setup in the emergency department of four major hospitals of Karachi Pakistan for 3 months. Karachi, the largest city of Pakistan, has a population of about 17 million (43.8% are children). Caretakers of children under 12 years of age presenting to emergency department with an unintentional injury were interviewed. Analysis was done on the number of home injuries in this sample and the associated risk factors.
Results The surveillance included 566 injured children of which 409 (72%) injuries had taken place at/around home. Of 409 children, 66% were males; 54% were between 5 and 11 years of age. Injuries commonly occurred during play time (51%). Fall (59%), dog bites (11%) and burns (9%) were the commonest mechanisms of injury. Falls occurred most often from stairs/steps and burns due to hot liquids. The majority of the children (78%) were directly discharged from emergency room with predicted short term disability (42%). There were 2 deaths in the ED both due to falls.
Conclusion A majority of these unintentional childhood injuries occur at home frequently involving males. Falls, dog bites and burns are the most common types of unintentional childhood home injuries.