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Rate of Non-Fatal School Bus Injuries Higher Than Thought

Children aged 10 to 14 have the most injuries at 34.7 per 100,000

TUESDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- More children are involved in non-fatal school bus-related injuries each year than previously reported, according to study findings published in the November issue of Pediatrics.

Jennifer McGeehan, M.P.H., of Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and colleagues assessed nationally representative data on 51,100 patients aged 19 or younger who received hospital emergency care for a non-fatal school bus-related injury between 2001 and 2003.

The researchers tallied an estimated 17,000 school bus injuries nationally each year, or 21 injuries per 100,000 population. The vast majority (97 percent) of treated children were released. Children between 10 and 14 years of age had the greatest proportion of injuries at 43 percent, or 34.7 per 100,000 population.

Vehicle crashes were the leading cause of injury at 42.3 percent; 23.8 percent of injuries occurred while getting on and off buses. Some 52.1 percent of injuries to children under age 10 were to the head; 25.5 percent of those to children between 10 and 19 were to the lower extremities.

"This is the first study to describe non-fatal school bus-related injuries to U.S. children and teenagers treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments using a national sample," the authors write. "This study identified a greater annual number of school bus-related injuries to children than reported previously."

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