Introduction: Every year in the United States, thousands of young children are injured by passenger vehicles in driveways or parking areas. Little is known about risk factors, and incidence rates are difficult to estimate because ascertainment using police collision reports or media sources is incomplete. This study used surveillance at trauma centers to identify incidents and parent interviews to obtain detailed information on incidents, vehicles, and children.
Methods: Eight California trauma centers conducted surveillance of nontraffic pedestrian collision injury to children aged 14 years or younger from January 2005 to July 2007. Three of these centers conducted follow-up interviews with family members.
Results: Ninety-four injured children were identified. Nine children (10%) suffered fatal injury. Seventy children (74%) were 4 years old or younger. Family members of 21 victims from this study (23%) completed an interview. Of these 21 interviewed victims, 17 (81%) were male and 13 (62%) were 1 or 2years old. In 13 cases (62%), the child was backed over, and the driver was the mother or father in 11 cases (52%). Fifteen cases (71%) involved a sport utility vehicle, pickup truck, or van. Most collisions occurred in a residential driveway.
Conclusion: Trauma center surveillance can be used for case ascertainment and for collecting information on circumstances of nontraffic pedestrian injuries. Adoption of a specific external cause-of injury code would allow passive surveillance of these injuries. Research is needed to understand the contributions of family, vehicular, and environmental characteristics and injury risk to inform prevention efforts