According to a new study presented at the recent Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons in Las Vegas, child on foot are most likely to be hit by a car in the spring time during afternoon and evenings hours, especially when unsupervised near schools and bus stops.
The study, led by Dr. Alexa Karkenny of Jacobi Medical Center in New York City, looked at the medical records of 100 children, 79 boys and 21 girls, with an average age of eight who were hit by vehicles in Philadelphia in 2012. Some of the findings:
- The most common injuries were thigh, shin, and ankle fractures.
- The children injured were most likely to be hit after leaving school (between 2 and 5 p.m.) and also during the evening hours (between 5 and 9 p.m.).
- The injuries were more frequent in the spring, particularly during the month of June.
- The children injured were not typically accompanied by their parents when they were injured.
- Seventy percent of the children were injured mid-block, 18 percent at a crosswalk, and nine percent were struck on private property, a sidewalk, or in a parking lot.
Ways to Reduce Child Pedestrian Injuries
According to the researchers, efforts should be made to improve supervision of children when they leave school at the end of the day, and also to boost road safety in school zones. One suggestion involved having school safety officers present during school dismissal time, while another urged banning smartphone use while walking in streets and crosswalks to reduce distraction and increase awareness of potential risks.
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, over 50,000 children are injured each year as pedestrians, resulting in 1800 deaths, 18,000 hospitalizations, and 5000 long-term injuries.