Child pedestrian injury in an urban setting: descriptive epidemiology

Acad Emerg Med. 2002 Jan;9(1):54-62. doi: 10.1111/j.1553-2712.2002.tb01168.x.


Objective: To describe the epidemiology of pedestrian injuries to children and adolescents (ages <20 years) in an urban setting, providing analyses of environmental and pedestrian variables.

Methods: Anonymous data were obtained for all motor vehicle crashes occurring in New York City over a seven-year period (1991-1997).

Results: Among 693,283 crashes, 97,245 resulted in injuries to 100,261 pedestrians, of whom 32,578 were under the age of 20. Using census counts for the denominator, the overall incidence of pediatric pedestrian injuries was 246/100,000 per year, and the case fatality rate was 0.6%. Incidence rates peaked in the 6-14-year age group, and showed a modest annual decline during the study period. Younger children were more likely to be struck mid-block and during daylight hours, whereas adolescents were more likely to be struck at intersections and at night. For younger children, there was a sharp peak in incidence during the summer months. Road and weather conditions did not appear to affect injury risk.

Conclusions: These results help identify priorities for child pedestrian injury prevention and education, inform public health policy, and direct emergency medical health services resource allocation.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / mortality*
  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Cause of Death*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Male
  • Multiple Trauma / classification
  • Multiple Trauma / epidemiology*
  • New York City / epidemiology
  • Registries
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Seasons
  • Sex Distribution
  • Survival Analysis
  • Urban Population
  • Walking / injuries*
  • Weather