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Childhood Injury Bulletin: Pedestrian-related injuries

Kidsafe WA has recently released the Childhood Injury Bulletin: Pedestrian-related Injuries. Between July 2015 and June 2020, there were 537 pedestrian-related injury presentations to Perth Children’s Hospital Emergency Department. This accounts for 0.6 percent of all injury presentations during the five year period.

Walking is an important part of children’s lives and plays a vital role in their overall health, fitness, and ability to get around their community independently. However, being a pedestrian can be dangerous, especially for children who have not yet developed the skills to navigate the road safely. Children are at greater risk of pedestrian-related injuries due to 3 main factors: child’s height, brain development and experience with traffic.

Males record higher rates of pedestrian-related injury presentations compared to females between 0 to 15 years, with males accounting for 57.0 percent (n=306) of injuries, and females the remaining 43.0 percent (n=231). In particular, males present with more pedestrian-related injuries <2 years old (24.5%, n=132). Children that identified as Aboriginal accounted for 7.4 percent (n=40) of pedestrian-related injuries between July 2015 and June 2020. Prams (42.5%, n=227) and wheeled equipment (1.7%, n=9) were the most common injury factors involved in pedestrian-related injuries.

The following steps can help decrease the risk of pedestrian-related injuries for children:

  • Separate play areas from cars: If possible, fence your child’s play area off from driveways and the street.
  • Set a good example and explain the road rules to your children: Explain what you are doing when you cross the road together. Teach children to stop before entering the road, look in all directions, listen and think when it is safe to cross the road.
  • Wear bright coloured clothing: Make sure your child wears clothing that is easy to see when out and about.
  • Avoid listening to loud music when walking and/or crossing the road: It is important that the pedestrian can hear what is going on around them e.g., a car reversing or a motorcycle turning a corner.
  • Pick a safe meeting spot for after school pick up: picking a safe meeting spot for your child to wait when being picked up from school is a great strategy to ensure pedestrian safety. Never call them over from the opposite side of the street. Instead, cross the street with them.

To view the full report, visit: https://www.kidsafewa.com.au/professionals/wa-childhood-injury-bulletins-reports/