Unintentional injury among low-income 5-year-olds with chronic health conditions.

Academic Article


  • BACKGROUND: Growing numbers of children suffer from chronic health conditions, and initial evidence suggests chronic illness may be associated with increased child injury risk. We examined injury risk among 5-year-olds with and without chronic health conditions. METHODS: Data from a diverse US sample of 7954 low-income 5-year-olds participating in the National Head Start/Public School Early Childhood Transition Demonstration Study were analysed. Mothers reported demographics, presence/absence of eight chronic health conditions, and whether children had experienced injuries requiring professional medical attention in the past year. Primary analyses used ordinal logistic regression. RESULTS: Asthma, bronchitis, recurrent ear infections, hay fever/allergies and speech problems associated with increased injury risk (OR range = 1.20-1.49 in bivariate ordinal logistic regression, ps < 0.01). Children with cerebral palsy had reduced injury risk (OR = 0.37, 95% CI = 0.15-0.91, p < 0.05). Most findings held after including demographic covariates in multivariate models. CONCLUSION: Because a range of chronic health conditions associated with increased injury risk, the causal mechanism behind relations between chronic illness and injury risk may not be disease-specific. Instead, factors related to having chronic medical conditions-not any particular condition-might contribute. Possible mediators include impaired family functioning, impaired peer relations, and familiarity with the health system/health-seeking behaviours.
  • Published In

  • Chronic Illness  Journal
  • Keywords

  • Accidents, Child, Preschool, Chronic Disease, Cross-Sectional Studies, Early Intervention (Education), Female, Humans, Logistic Models, Male, Poverty, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic, Risk Factors, Socioeconomic Factors, United States, Wounds and Injuries
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Schwebel DC; Brezausek CM
  • Start Page

  • 201
  • End Page

  • 208
  • Volume

  • 7
  • Issue

  • 3