Details of all deaths in children (less than 16 years) resident in Oxfordshire and West Berkshire from 1970-9 were ascertained; 259 non-natural deaths were identified. Half were due to road traffic accidents, and another quarter occurred during play outside the home. There were differences in sex, age, and social class between the types of accident. A clustering of fatal accidents, particularly to pedestrians, was observed at around the time of the child's birthday. It is suggested that the excitement engendered overrides the child's normal caution. Local action to reduce accidents from specific hazards might complement national education campaigns.
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