Two years of school injuries in a Scottish education sub-division

Public Health. 1996 Jul;110(4):229-35. doi: 10.1016/s0033-3506(96)80108-9.


Injuries sustained in schools account for 20-30% of all accident and emergency attendances in school age children. Little information has been available on the epidemiology of school accidents in the United Kingdom. Two years of routine school incident reports were analysed from Renfrew Sub-Region, an area with a school roll of 55,521 children attending 135 schools. Schools returned 1,660 report forms in the two year period, of which 1,440 referred to injuries to school children. The peak incidence of injuries was in the 10-12 year age group. The male:female ratio was 1.37:1. Cuts/ laceration and fractures were the commonest diagnoses reported for both Primary and Secondary Schools. Injuries to face and features were commonest in Primary, and upper limb injuries in Secondary Schools. Uncontrolled areas, e.g. playgrounds, stairways and corridors were the most frequent places of occurrence in Primary Schools (Relative Risk 5.24, 95% C.I. 3.28-8.35). Report accuracy was assessed by comparing one year of school reports in a Local Government District to records in the local District General Hospital. This identified 156 children who had attended hospital as the result of a school accident. Schools overestimated the number of fractures by 27%, but where schools had not provided a diagnosis, 15.4% were identified as fractures in hospital records. Each child seen at the hospital received an average of 2.1 X-rays. Nine children underwent manipulations under general anaesthetic. Seventeen children were admitted to hospital, and the group required 103 outpatient follow-up appointments.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Population Surveillance
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk Management
  • Schools*
  • Scotland / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology