Despite an increased emphasis on safety, children aged 5 to 19 years still experience a substantial number of intentional injuries while at school.
In the study, “Emergency Department Visits Resulting From Intentional Injury In and Out of School,” in the February 2014 Pediatrics (published online Jan. 13), data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System All Injury Program were analyzed from 2001 to 2008 to assess emergency department visits after an intentional injury.
Out of an estimated 7.39 million emergency department visits due to injuries occurring at school, approximately 736,014 (10 percent) were reported as intentional. Gender and age disparities were identified.
- Boys, and children in the 10- to 14-year age group most likely to be identified as at risk for intentional injury-related emergency department visits from the school setting.
- Girls, and children in the 15- to 19-year age group were most at risk for intentional injury-related emergency department visits from outside of the school setting.
- African-American race and Hispanic ethnicity were both found to be associated with higher risks in the school setting compared to outside school.
Injuries resulting in fractures were identified more often in the school setting, and lacerations most often resulted outside of school. Risk of hospitalization was found to be higher due to intentional injury-related emergency department visits compared to unintentional injury-related emergency department visits in either setting.
Study authors conclude that although there were signs of a decreasing trend, intentionally injured children in the school setting continue to have a significant public health impact, and additional prevention strategies are needed to avoid injuries among children.