The objective of this study was to identify the major causes of accident mortality and morbidity among children (0-14 years) in Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates (UAE). A retrospective descriptive study was set in the Al-Ain Hospital and Preventive Medicine Department, Ministry of Health, Al-Ain. Subjects were all patients aged 0-14 years who were seen at Al-Ain Hospital for injury during the 12-month period January to December 1995, and all recorded deaths aged 0-14 years in Preventive Medicine Department from 1980 to 1995.
Results: Mortality: 301 children (69.4% males, 30.6% females) died after accidents from 1980 to 1995. UAE citizens and other Arabs represented the majority of deaths. Most mortality (28.6%) occurred in the 1-4 year age group. Head and neck injury was the major type of injury causing death (57.5%). The most common cause of accidental death was road traffic accidents (boys 67.1%, girls 60.4%), followed by drowning and burns (8%). Morbidity: Pediatric trauma cases seen during 1995 totaled 17,498, representing one third of all patients attending the Hospital Emergency Room. About 70% of encountered injuries occurred among boys; 44.6% of cases were UAE citizens. The most common trauma type was contusion (40.2% boys; 40.6% girls), the most common type of trauma in boys and girls (30.4% and 36%, respectively). In the age group <5 years, the most common causes of trauma were fall (41.1%), blunt trauma (38.7%) and burns or scalds (64%), while in 5-9 year olds, the most common cause was road traffic accidents (40%). Finally, in 10-14 year olds, the most frequent causes were traffic accidents (32.8%) sharp objects injuries (38.3%), and fights and sporting (28.9%).
Conclusion: More boys than girls presented with injury and the majority were nationals. Road traffic accidents mainly occurred in children over 10 years.