Background: Because administrative data typically do not contain Aboriginal identifiers, national unintentional injury hospitalization rates among Aboriginal children have not been reported. This study examines rates of unintentional injury hospitalization for children in areas with a high-percentage Aboriginal identity population.
Data and methods: Data are from the Hospital Morbidity Database (2001/2002 to 2005/2006). Rates of unintentional injury hospitalization were calculated for 0- to 19-year-olds in census Dissemination Areas (DAs) where at least 33% of residents reported an Aboriginal identity. DAs were classified as high-percentage First Nations, Métis or Inuit identity based on the predominant group.
Results: Unintentional injury hospitalization rates of children and youth in high-percentage Aboriginal identity areas were at least double the rate for their contemporaries in low-percentage Aboriginal identity areas. Falls and land transportation were the most common causes of unintentional injury hospitalization, regardless of Aboriginal identity status, but disparities between rates for high- and low-percentage Aboriginal identity areas were often greatest for less frequent causes, such as fire, natural/environmental, and drowning/ suffocation.
Interpretation: The geographic areas where children live were associated with hospitalization rates for injury.