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Risky Behaviors of Pediatric Pedestrians Who Are Struck by Motor Vehicles

Friday, October 19, 2012
Room 272-273 (Morial Convention Center)
Nina E. Glass, MD1, Deborah A. Levine, MD2, R. Simon1, S. Rob Todd, MD1, Chad T. Wilson, MD1, S. Jacko1, Linda Dultz, MD1, D. Slaughter-Larkem1, George Foltin, MD, FAAP3 and S. Frangos1, (1)Surgery, NYU Langone School of Medicine / Bellevue Hospital Center, New York, NY, (2)Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine, NYU Langone School of Medicine / Bellevue Hospital Center, New York, NY, (3)Pediatrics, Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY

Purpose: Pedestrian injuries in children lead to frequent visits to emergency rooms.  Our objective was to examine the behaviors of children struck by motor vehicles so as to better target injury prevention strategies.

Methods: We collected data prospectively on all pedestrians struck by motor vehicles who presented to our Level 1 Trauma Center in New York City from 2008 to 2011. Data was stratified by age and behavioral variables.  Verbal consent was obtained from guardians and IRB approval was granted.

Results: Of 1075 patients, 145(13%) were under 18 years of age. As compared with adults, children were more likely male (65% vs. 53%), more likely had minor injuries (82% vs. 73% for ISS<9), and were more likely to be discharged without admission (70% vs. 67%).  Midblock crossings and darting into the street were common in all children often despite supervision (Table) Electronic device use among teenagers was twice that of adults.

Age 0-6 (n=39)

Age 7-12 (n=49)

Age 13-17  (n=57)




14 (36%)

23 (47%)

18 (32%)

171 (18%)

Darting into street

17 (44%)

12 (25%)

8 (14%)




26 (53%)

50 (88%)


Alcohol use


1 (2%)

2 (4%)

138 (15%)

Electronic Device use


1 (2%)

11 (18%)

81 (9%)

Conclusion: Improving guardian supervision, educating children on safe crossing behaviors, and minimizing common distractors must be components of any comprehensive pediatric injury prevention program.