Document Type



Paediatrics and Child Health (East Africa)


Road traffic crashes are a significant cause of the disease burden among children, with the highest mortality in low- and middle-income countries. This observational study explores such injuries in Cape Town, South Africa through an analysis of data for cases in 1992, 2002 and 2012 at the Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital, a referral paediatric hospital for children younger than 13 years. Descriptive and time trend analysis of demographic data as well as of the causes, severity and place of injury was conducted. Logistic regression and generalised linear models described factors influencing hospital admission. In the years 1992, 2002 and 2012, a total of 4690 patients presented with injuries sustained as a result of a road traffic crash. Nearly 50% (n = 2201) of them were between five and nine years of age, with 1.7 males for every female. Three-quarters of those who got injured were pedestrians while the second most commonly injured ones were unrestrained passengers. The majority had minor injuries (58%), but with notably higher proportions with moderate to severe injuries in the years 2002 and 2012. Forty per cent were admitted for inpatient treatment, with the highest proportion (50%) in 2002. Admission was related to mechanism and severity. The epidemiological factors assessed remain largely unchanged over the assessment points calling into question the impact of local safety strategies.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion

Included in

Pediatrics Commons