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The Canadian child safety report card: A comparison of injury prevention practices across provinces

TitleThe Canadian child safety report card: A comparison of injury prevention practices across provinces
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsFridman, L.
UniversityYork University
CityToronto, ON

Background Health-based report cards have been used as a tool to disseminate research findings to parents, government agencies, stakeholders, and the general public. In Canada, health-based report cards such as the Canadian Pediatric Societys report provides a comparison of how provinces measure up to one another on a number of health-based indicators. However, few child health report cards discuss implications for primary prevention policy or practice. Methods The Canadian Child Safety Report Card was developed in three studies using data from the Discharge Abstract Database and provincial coronial data. Interprovincial comparisons were made of measures of morbidity and mortality in chapters two and three. Chapter two focuses on external causes of injury such as falls, poisonings, burns, suffocation, and drowning. Chapter three focuses on transport-related injuries including occupants, cyclists, and pedestrians. Population based morbidity and mortality rates per 100,000 were calculated for children/youth 0-19 years. Percent change in hospitalization and death rates were reported over the 7-year study period (2006-2012). Chapter four ranks provinces to one another through morbidity, mortality, and injury policy measures using evidence-based criteria. Results In Canada, Saskatchewan was the province with the highest rate of injury hospitalization per 100,000 between 2006 and 2012, but incidence decreased from 967 to 852 over the 7-year period, despite not having policies that meet best practice. Ontario had the lowest rate of injury hospitalization per 100,000, however the incidence rate increased slightly from 451 to 479. Only British Columbia decreased the incidence of injuries compared to the Canadian average. The rate decreased from 667 to 515 between 2006 and 2012. This change in incidence over time is observed in a province that complied with best practice evidence-based injury prevention policies. Similar trends were seen in mortality data across provinces. Conclusions This is the first study to compare injuries among children and youth across Canadian provinces in terms of hospitalization, and the enactment of evidence-based policies. This data may allow the influence of all spectrums of prevention by resulting in the harmonization of policy and legislation in Canada. Similar projects in the European Union have started to yield results in terms of harmonizing prevention policies across member states.

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