Objects: to report the incidence of child pedestrian injury in New Zealand and review prevention strategies.
Methods: examination of National Health Statistics Centre mortality and public hospital morbidity data from 1978-87.
Results: over the ten year period, there was an annual average of 30 deaths (3.6/100,000 per year) and 411 hospitalisations (49.4/100,000 per year) for child pedestrian injury. There has been no significant reduction in the fatality or hospital morbidity rate over this time. Pedestrian fatality rates are highest for boys and for children in the youngest age groups. Hospitalisation rates are over 2.5 times higher for Maori children than for nonMaori children.
Conclusions: child pedestrian injury is an important public health problem in New Zealand for which there are few established prevention strategies. Controlled studies aimed at the identification of modifiable environmental factors are required.