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  • Falls reason for most hospital trips

    Author: AAP

Falls, transport accidents, self-harm injuries and assault are the most common causes for young people to be admitted to hospital.

Falls are the leading reason young people are admitted to hospital in Australia, with mishaps on skateboards, trampolines and climbing equipment resulting in thousands of fractures and wounds each year.

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The figures released on Wednesday show more than 130,000 children and young people were hospitalised because of injury in 2011-12, and males outnumbered females by two to one.

While transport injuries accounted for 14.5 per cent of hospitalisations of people aged up to 24 years, accidental falls were the most common, accounting for nearly 30 per cent of injured patients.

Self-harm injuries and assaults made up 6.7 per cent and 5.5 per cent of hospital admissions, respectively.


The rate of assault for young men was three times higher than for young women, the report shows.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare spokesman James Harrison said the study showed falls resulted in more than 38,000 hospital admissions in 2011-12.

Falls happened for different reasons depending on the age group.

For children up to four, falls mostly occurred while climbing on playground equipment and jumping on the trampoline.

In the five to nine age bracket, children tended to fall when they were climbing on playground equipment.

For children aged 10 to 14, their falls most commonly occurred while on a skateboard.

More than 17 per cent of injuries in adolescents - those between 15-17 - were a result of transport accidents. Females were most likely to be injured in car accidents and males in motorbike crashes.

Self-harm accounted for more than 14 per cent of injuries, while assault caused six per cent of hospitalisations in this age group.

A similar pattern was seen among young adults - those 18-24.

Transport accidents resulted in 18 per cent of injuries, while self-harm and assault accounted for 10 per cent each in this group.

Rates of drowning and burns were highest among babies less than one year old, and "relatively high" among one- to four-year-olds.

"About 75 per cent of drowning cases resulting in hospitalisation were in bathtubs, while 60 per cent of drownings among children aged one to four were in swimming pools," Professor Harrison said.

Overall, rates of injury were higher in rural and remote areas and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

* Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.

Copyright AAP 2014.


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