Objective: To provide information on the incidence, sex distribution, type, site and severity of injuries requiring medical attention reported in a nationally representative sample of Scottish teenagers studied longitudinally.
Design: Health visitors administered structured interviews with parents (usually mothers). Quantitative data were analysed using SPSS-PC, and qualitative and textual data were coded using the Abbreviated Injury Score (AIS).
Subjects: Responses were received in respect of 958 (68%) of the estimated 1,416 teenagers enrolled in the British Cohort Study (BCS 70), and resident in Scotland in 1986/7.
Results: 43% of subjects were reported as having experienced one or more unintentional injury events requiring medical attention between the ages of 10 and 16/17. Boys experienced significantly more injuries than girls. Neither social class nor region appeared to be a significant risk factor for reported injury.
Conclusion: Patterns of accidents in Scottish adolescents are reported. Further areas for study are suggested.