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released: 12 Nov 2014 author: AIHW: Pointer S media release

The aim of this report is to provide information about serious hospitalised injury in Australian children and young people aged 0 to 24 years. The report takes a developmental stage approach to examining injury acknowledging that age and injury are more closely linked at some periods of life (for example, early childhood and young adulthood).

ISSN 1444-3791; ISBN 978-1-74249-657-3; Cat. no. INJCAT 167; 101pp.; $15

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Summary

This report provides information on hospitalised injury in Australian children and young people aged 0 to 24 years in 2011-12. Just over 130,000 children and young people were hospitalised as a result of an injury in 2011-12, boys outnumbering girls by 2 to 1. Generally, rates of injury were higher for the older age groups. The overall rate was 1,785 per 100,000, and the highest overall rate was among males aged 18-24 years, at 3,298 cases per 100,000 population. Rates of injury were also higher in rural and remote areas and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people.

Infants

In infants (<12 months) rates of drowning (10 per 100,000) and injury due to thermal causes (67 per 100,000) were among the highest of all age groups for children and young people. About 75% of infant drowning cases were in bathtubs.

Children aged 1-4 years

Rates of drowning and injury due to thermal causes were relatively high for children aged 1-4 years, and rates of unintentional poisoning by pharmaceuticals and other substances were the highest in this age group (85 and 28 per 100,000 respectively). Falls were commonly from playground equipment (20% of the falls in this age group) and 40% of playground equipment falls were from trampolines. About 60% of the drownings were in swimming pools.

Children aged 5-9 years

Rates of injury due to falls were highest for children aged 5-9 years (701 per 100,000). The falls were commonly from playground equipment (38% of the falls in this age group) and 42% of the falls from playground equipment were from climbing apparatus.

Children aged 10-14 years

For children aged 10-14 years, unintentional transport injury, intentional self-harm and assault were more common than for younger age groups. Falls was one of the leading causes of hospitalisation (8,703 hospitalisations) and 1,329 (15%) involved skateboards.

Adolescents aged 15-17 years

Adolescents aged 15-17 years have the highest rate of intentional self-harm (320 cases per 100,000 population) among children and young people. The rate of intentional self-harm among female adolescents (534) was over four times that of males (119). The most common means for both females (86%) and males (76%) was intentional self-poisoning.

Young adults aged 18-24 years

Young adults (18-24) have the highest rates of unintentional transport injury (442 cases per 100,000 population) and assault (251). Most transport injuries in young women involved cars (63%) and just 8% involved a motor cycle. In contrast, transport injuries in young men more often involved a motorcycle (41%) than a car (33%). The rate of assault for young men (377 per 100,000) was three times that for young women (120). Young women were much more likely to report being assaulted by their spouse or domestic partner (44%) than young men (2%).

Recommended citation

AIHW: Pointer S 2014. Hospitalised injury in children and young people 2011-12. Injury research and statistics series no. 91. Cat. no. INJCAT 167. Canberra: AIHW.

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