Study objective: To determine if the mechanism of fatal childhood pedestrian injuries correlated with location, injury pattern, and age of the pedestrian and to determine ethnic differences in fatality rates.
Design: Retrospective review of state medical investigator reports and autopsies from 1986 to 1990. Logistic regression and chi 2 were used to test for statistically significant differences between the groups in our data set.
Type of participants: New Mexican children, 0 to 14 years old fatally injured by moving vehicles.
Results: Sixty-four children died for an overall fatality rate of 3.8 (per 100,000). Native American children and children younger than 5 years experienced the highest fatality rates. Children younger than 5 years were more likely to be crushed under the wheels of a slow-moving vehicle in both a nontraffic and a traffic location, whereas older children were found more often to have died from injuries from a high-speed impact event in a traffic location (P < .001). Leg fractures (P = .001) and spinal fractures (P = .02) occurred more frequently in impact than crush injuries.
Conclusion: Young children are at risk for a crush injury in both the traffic and nontraffic environment.