Objective: To describe detailed mechanisms and activities at the time of unintentional injuries among adolescents in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Methods: A school-based study was conducted on 1557 students in grades 6-8 across 14 schools, using a self-administered questionnaire during August-September 2003. Mechanisms and activities were coded using the Nordic Medico Statistical Committee's classification.
Findings: Falls (65%) and cuts (63%) were the most common injuries, followed by transport-related injuries (36%) and burns (22%). In urban areas, falls (59%) were the most common injuries, followed by transport-related injuries (50%); in semi-urban areas, falls (66%) and cuts (65%) were the most common injuries, followed by transport-related injuries (34%). At the time of falls, boys were generally engaged in sports while girls were engaged in walking on streets or on stairs in houses, in both areas. Falls from trees among boys and falls from roofs among girls were also common in semi-urban areas. Cut injuries while processing food were common among boys and girls in both areas, whereas agricultural work was also a source of injury in semi-urban areas. Pedestrian injuries were common during transport among boys and girls in both areas; boys in semi-urban areas were almost equally likely to be injured during cycling. Burn injuries while cooking and serving food were more common among girls in semi-urban areas.
Conclusion: Falls, cuts, transport-related injuries, and burn injuries were quite prevalent among adolescents in Kathmandu. The reported injury mechanisms and activities posing injury risks have implications for future interventions.