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Aboriginal children experience high burden of unintentional injury

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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are more than one and a half times more likely to be hospitalised for unintentional injuries than non-Aboriginal children new research shows, prompting calls for more targeted child injury prevention programs.

The UNSW-led study is the first to investigate differences in hospitalisation rates for unintentional injury between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children in Australia, using linked data to follow children from birth to age 13 years.

The results suggest Aboriginal children suffer a disproportionately high burden of unintentional injury, and the gap between the two groups is wider than previously thought.

The study, led by UNSW’s Centre for Big Data Research in Health, has been published today in the American Journal of Public Health.

Researchers analysed hospital and mortality data for more than 1.12 million children born in a NSW hospital between 2000 and 2012. Of these, 35,749 children were identified as Aboriginal.

The study found a much higher risk of injury, requiring hospitalisation, for Aboriginal children from poisoning, burns and transportation-related causes compared to non-Aboriginal children.

It found only a small difference in the risk of hospitalisation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children for falls, which is the leading type of unintentional injury in all...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.