April 1996

Pediatric Injury Hospitalization in Hispanic Children and Non-Hispanic White Children in Southern California

Author Affiliations

From the University of California—Irvine.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1996;150(4):400-406. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1996.02170290066011

Objective:  To compare the incidence and causes of injury requiring hospitalization or resulting in death or both between Hispanic children and non-Hispanic white children.

Design:  Population-based surveillance of children younger than 15 years residing in eight Orange County cities and communities who were hospitalized or died of injuries sustained during 1991 and 1992.

Setting:  Eight hospitals and the coroner's office in central Orange County, California.

Participants:  Study population was 213 906 children residing in the study area. Forty-nine percent were Hispanic, 37% were non-Hispanic white, 12% were Asian or Pacific Islander, and 3% were of other racial origin.

Results:  A total of 1361 severe injuries were identified (crude annual rate was 318 per 100 000 population). The crude incidence rate ratio comparing Hispanics and nonHispanic whites was 1.82. After adjustment for census block group, Hispanic children had a 60% higher injury rate and incidence rate ratios of more than 2 for pedestrian injuries, asphyxia, aspirations, foreign-body ingestions, and poisonings.

Conclusions:  Hispanic children had higher injury rates than non-Hispanic white children, even when controlling for census block group. These rate differences may be related to differences in exposure to various causes of injury, injury prevention practices, parenting practices, family size, and language. Injury rate differences by ethnicity that address specific injury hazards must be explored to guide prevention efforts. More culturally and linguistically appropriate interventions are needed to provide injury prevention programs to the Hispanic population.(Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1996;150:400-406)