Objective: To study the epidemiology of injuries among children (<14 years) in a rural population.
Methods: The present Cross Sectional Study was undertaken in rural Pondicherry. The trained second year medical undergraduate students paid house visits to all houses in five feasibly selected villages. The students interviewed the mother of children aged < 14 years and obtained information on injuries in last 1 year and its sources of treatments. The authors could obtain information for 1,613 households (96.7%). The data was entered and analyzed using Epi_info 6.04d software package.
Results: Overall, prevalence of injuries among below 14 years was 23% in the last 1 year. The prevalence of injuries among infants, 1-4 years children and 5-14 years children was 32 (15.2%), 110 (24.5%) and 274 (23.7%) respectively. Prevalence of injury was significantly higher among male children (p = 0.001). All injuries were accidental and 68.2% injuries occurred in home environment followed by that in school. Source of treatment for majorities of injuries (58.4%) were government doctors. Notably, village level Anganwadi workers (AWW) or Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) were not consulted for the treatment. Falls were the leading cause of injury. Fall on ground from height, burns, bite by scorpion/insect/snake/dogs, and road traffic accidents were the four leading causes of injury among children.
Conclusions: There is a need for community based health education intervention for mothers, caregivers, school teacher and capacity building of village level health workers such as ANM and AWW. Health education message should include preventive measures for the leading causes of childhood injuries.