The Turkish Journal of Pediatrics 2021 , Vol 63 , Num 1
Evaluation of injury-related under-five mortality in Turkey between 2014-2017
Nilgün Çaylan 1 ,Sıddıka Songül Yalçın 2 ,Başak Tezel 1 ,Şirin Aydın 1 ,Önder Özen 1 ,Meltem Şengelen 3 ,Banu Çakır 3
1 Child and Adolescent Health Department, Ministry of Health, General Directorate of Public Health, Ankara
2 Department of Pediatrics, Division of Social Pediatrics, Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey
3 Department of Public Health, Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey
DOI : 10.24953/turkjped.2021.01.005 Background. Injury is the most common cause of preventable morbidity and mortality among children. The aim of this study was to determine the epidemiological characteristics and trends of injury-related mortality in children under five and to provide evidence for future preventive strategies.

Methods. Our study was designed as a descriptive cross-sectional study. National under-five mortality data from the Death Notification System database, entered between January 1st, 2014, and December 31th, 2017, was included in the study.

Results. Among all under-five deaths registered in the system, 2,560 injury-related death cases were included in the study. Overall, deaths related to injuries accounted for 4.1% of all deaths in children under five years old. Of all injury deaths, 59.9% of cases were male, 52.7% occurred at home or its close vicinity, and 80.3% were children aged 12–59 months. Injury-related under-five deaths were mainly attributed to traffic injuries (36.5%), falls (12.0%), and suffocation (10.2%). Traffic injuries were the most common cause of injury-related deaths both in infants 0-11 months and children 12-59 months old. The second and third most common causes of injury-related deaths among infants 0-11 months were suffocation and falls, while these were falls and drowning in children aged 12-59 months, respectively. The injury-related under-five mortality rate dropped from 11.3 per hundred thousand in 2014 to 9.1 in 2017. Causes of all unintentional injury-related deaths were associated with season except for other unintentional injuries and exposure to mechanical forces (p <0.001).

Conclusions. The injury-related mortality rate among children under five years declined from 2014 to 2017, however it is still high. To prevent injuries in children under five, it is important to raise awareness and increase the supervision of children by their caregivers. At the national level, multisectorial cooperation with a holistic approach will be of key importance. Keywords : injury, mortality, under-five, children, Turkey

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