Injury hospitalisations are the third leading contributor to the burden of disease for children and adolescents aged 0–19 years and are estimated to cost Australia $212 million each year (AIHW 2022a; Mitchell et al. 2018). Injuries sustained during childhood can have profound and lifelong effects on health and development, by causing permanent physical disabilities or long-term cognitive or psychological damage. These effects can include increased risks of:

  • stunted growth (Makkawi et al. 2021)
  • neuromuscular problems including osteoarthritis, spinal pathologies, and chronic pain (Maffulli et al. 2010)
  • psychological impacts and mental health disorders (Jones et al. 2021)
  • lowered academic outcomes and school dropout (Mitchell et al. 2021)

In 2021–22, injuries among children and adolescents resulted in:

  • 604,000 ED presentations

    10,100 presentations per 100,000 population

  • 88,800 hospitalisations

    1,500 hospitalisations per 100,000 population


This report presents information on the 603,675 ED presentations and 88,766 injury hospitalisations that occurred amongst children aged 0–18 between 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022 across Australia. Hospitalisations refer to hospitalised injury cases and are included according to separation date, while ED presentations are included by presentation date. ED presentations that end in an admission to hospital may be counted in both ED and hospitalisation data. Further details of injury scope inclusions can be found in the technical notes accompanying this report.

A time series analysis of injury hospitalisations between 1 July 2012 and 30 June 2022 is presented. Due to jurisdictional variation in diagnosis coding over time, ED presentations are only included for 2021–22.

This report does not include information on injuries among children that did not result in ED presentations or hospitalisations. There are many more cases that are treated by general practitioners, allied health professionals or outpatient clinics that are not reflected in this report. Methods for identifying and counting ED presentations and hospitalisations among children are detailed in the technical notes accompanying this report.