Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Around the Arctic August 15, 2012 - 12:13 pm

Kids in Inuit regions at greater risk of accidental injury: StatsCan study

Study finds higher risk of hospitalization due to unintentional injuries


Unintentional injury, the leading cause of death among Canadian children, is much higher among children living in Inuit regions.

They’re more than twice as likely as children living in places with few aboriginal residents to end up in hospital with an injury due to a fall, vehicle collision, natural or environmental accident, poisoning, fire or drowning.

Not only do these injuries mean increased health care costs, hospitalizations and physician care, but childhood injuries also have consequences that can last a lifetime, said a Statistics Canada study released Aug. 15.

For the study, researchers examined 117,605 hospitalization discharges over five years for unintentional injuries. They used postal codes on discharge papers from hospitals to determine where the children came from.

They found two-thirds of the hospitalizations of unintentional injuries involved boys, aged 10 to 19.

Unintentional injuries varied by age group and were generally higher among 10- to 19-year-olds than among children aged 0 to nine, the study found.

The rates of injuries were considerably higher among children and youth in Inuit areas where kids were more than twice as likely to be hospitalized for an unintentional injury than kids living in regions of Canada with a low number of aboriginal residents.

Children and youth in Inuit regions were three times as likely to be injured by a motor vehicles, while injuries related to drowning were about three times greater than what is found in “low-percentage aboriginal identity areas.”

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