Injuries among US children with different types of disabilities.
Sinclair, S., & Xiang, H. (2008). Injuries among US children with different types of disabilities. American Journal of Public Health, 98(4), 1510-1516.
Living healthy is important for everyone; however, children with disabilities use more health care services than other groups. The purpose of this study is to determine the risk of injury in children with disabilities compared to their non-disabled peers; and also to determine how the risk of injury changes with disability type.
There were 229,544 children with no record of disability and 13,252 children with a single disability that had been present at least a year before the interview, in this study. Ages ranged from 0-17 years.
Data was collected from the National Health Interview Survey between the years of 1997 and 2005. This survey was taken by any adult in the household at the time of the call. Questions included whether the child was limited because of the type or amount of activity, and whether the child needed help with personal care needs, such as bathing and feeding. If the child had a disability, the interviewer would then inquire about how the condition causes the limitations. In this research, an injury was defined as a traumatic event such as a fall, car accident, or poisoning. Up to 10 injuries were recorded per individual.
It was found that during the 3 months prior to the interview; those with a single disability had a higher rate of injury than those without a disability in all categories (gender, age, parents' education, poverty status, and family size). The characteristics of the injury (injury type, cause, activity, location) were fairly consistent between the disabled and non-disabled group. Of those with disabilities, 327 had a bone/joint/muscle problem, and they were the group to most likely to incur an injury; whereas those with "intellectual disability" (n = 312) were the least likely.
Children with a single disability had a significantly higher risk of injury than children without a disability. This differential could be caused by a deficiency in motor skills, mental processing, or behavior impairments in those with a disability. This study was limited in that it did not include children in any institutions or account for injuries that were not serious enough to require medical attention.