PROVIDENCE – A new study led by Siraj Amanullah of Hasbro Children’s Hospital found that children between the ages of five and 19 experience a “substantial” number of intentional injuries while at school.
The study, “Emergency Department Visits Resulting from Intentional Injury In and Out of School,” was recently published online ahead of print in the journal Pediatrics.
Amanullah’s team analyzed data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System All Injury Program from 2001 to 2008 to assess emergency department (ED) visits after an intentional injury. Of an estimated 7.39 million emergency department visits due to injuries occurring at school, approximately 736,014 (10 percent) were reported as intentional, such as those from bullying and peer-to-peer violence.
“This study is the first of its kind to report such a national estimate,” said Amanullah. “The 10 percent number may not seem large, but it is alarmingly high when you consider that such a significant number of intentional injuries are occurring in the school setting, where safety measures meant to prevent these sorts of injuries, are already in place.”
James Linakis, associate director of pediatric emergency medicine at Hasbro Children’s Hospital and co-author of the study, added: “We know that the risk of hospitalization was found to be higher from intentional injuries versus unintentional injuries, based on what has been observed in emergency rooms.”
Linakis observed that prevention strategies were required to reduce the number of seriously injured children being seen in emergency rooms nationwide. continued, “In supervised environments such as schools, we have a great opportunity to implement additional prevention strategies and reduce the number of seriously injured children who we are seeing in emergency departments nationwide.”
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