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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Household composition and risk of fatal inflicted injuries in young children

Patricia G. Schnitzer, PhD, Family & Community Medicine, University of Missouri-Columbia, MA306 Medical Sciences Building DC032.00, Columbia, MO 65212, 573-882-1969, schnitzerp@health.missouri.edu and Bernard Ewigman, MD, MSPH, Department of Family Medicine, University of Chicago, Division of Biological Sciences and the Pritzker School of Medicine, 5841 S. Maryland Ave, MC 7110, Chicago, IL 60637.

Purpose: To assess household composition as a risk factor for fatal inflicted injuries among young children. Methods: A population-based, case-control study using data from Missouri’s Child Fatality Review Program. We included children less than age five that died between 1/1/92 and 12/31/99. Cases were all children who died from an injury inflicted by a parent or adult caregiver. We randomly selected two controls per case, frequency matched on age, from children who died of natural causes. Household composition was classified into five categories based on the relationship of the adults in the household to the deceased child. Adjusted odds ratios (aOR) and 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) were calculated using logistic regression. Results: 149 children met our case definition. Risk factors identified include young, unmarried mothers and households with unrelated adults in residence. After controlling for confounders, children residing in households with adults unrelated to them were nearly 50 times more likely to die of inflicted injuries than children in households with 2 biologic parents (aOR 48.7; 95%CI 10.6 – 225.0). In these data, the unrelated adult residing in the household was the boyfriend of the child’s mother over 80% of the time. Children living with one biologic parent only were not at increased risk of inflicted injury death (aOR 0.9; 95%CI 0.5 – 1.6). Conclusions: Living in a household with an unrelated adult increases the risk of inflicted injury death almost 50-fold. Importantly, living with a single parent does not increase risk, as long as no other adults live in the home.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Violence, Children

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Child and Adolescent Injuries

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA