Objective: To assess the occurrence of child injury in four developing country settings and to explore potential risk factors for injury.
Methods: Injury occurrence was studied in cohorts of 2000 children of age 6-17 months at enrolment, in each of Ethiopia, Peru, Vietnam and India (Andhra Pradesh). Generalized estimating equation models were used to explore potential risk factors for child injury.
Results: Occurrence of child injury was high in all countries. Caregiver depression emerged as a consistent risk factor for all types of injury measured (burns, serious falls, broken bones and near-fatal injury) across all countries. Other risk factors also showed consistent associations, including long-term child health problems, region of residence and the regular care of the child by a non-household member.
Conclusions: This report provides further evidence of the importance of childhood injury in developing countries and emphasizes the importance of including infants in injury research and prevention strategies. It provides strong evidence of an association between caregiver mental health and child injury risk and contributes to the limited knowledge base on risk factors for child injury in developing countries.