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August 1993

Injuries to Preschool-Age Children in Day-Care Centers: A Retrospective Record Review

Author Affiliations

From Maternal and Child Health Major (Dr Leland) and Institute for Health Services Research and Policy (Dr Garrard), School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and the Wayzata (Minn) School System (Ms Smith).

Am J Dis Child. 1993;147(8):826-831. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1993.02160320028014

• Objectives.  —To increase our understanding of the epidemiologic nature of injuries to children in day-care settings by examining injury logs and to determine appropriate methods for calculating injury rates.

Design.  —Retrospective, with data collected through a review of 1 year's records.

Setting.  —Four suburban day-care centers in the upper Midwest.

Participants.  —Five hundred twenty-seven preschool-age children, 275 of whom experienced one or more injuries during the study period.

Selection Procedure.  —Convenience sample.

Measurements/Results.  —Injury rates were calculated based on the number of hours spent in day care in the study year. More than 1000 injuries were reported for 527 children. Injury rates ranged from 0.006 to 0.049 per child per standardized 8-hour day in a day-care center (or six to 49 injuries per 1000 children per 8 hours of exposure). However, most injuries were minor, and none resulted in a fatality or hospital admission. Using this method, injury rates were examined by gender and month.

Conclusions.  —Future research should determine exposure time based on the actual number of hours a child spends in attendance to determine injury rates. Exposure time should also be carefully considered in determining product- and location-specific rates of injury.(AJDC. 1993;147:826-831)

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