Objectives: We investigated the risk of nonfatal injury in US children with disabilities. Disability was defined as a long-term reduction in the ability to conduct social role activities, such as school or play, because of a chronic physical or mental condition.
Methods: Among 57 909 children aged 5-17 years who participated in the 2000-2002 National Health Interview Survey, we identified 312 children with vision/hearing disabilities, 711 with mental retardation, 603 with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADD/HD), and 403 with chronic asthma. We compared nonfatal injuries in the past 3 months between children with disabling conditions and those without using injury rates and logistic regression analyses.
Results: Compared with children without a disability, a higher percentage of children with disabilities reported nonfatal injuries (4.2% for vision disability, 3.2% for mental retardation, 4.5% for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and 5.7% for asthma vs 2.5% for healthy children). After we controlled for confounding effects of sociodemographic variables, children with disabilities, with the exception of mental retardation, had a statistically significantly higher injury risk than those without disabling conditions.
Conclusions: Children with a disabling condition from vision/hearing disability, ADD/HD, or chronic asthma had a significantly higher risk for nonfatal injuries compared with children without a disabling condition. These data underscore the need to promote injury control and prevention programs targeting children with disabilities.