A study of injuries among 0-15 year old children attending primary care clinics in a low social class and a middle class neighbourhood was carried out during a period of one year. Data were collected in a structured form by the physicians while the patient was in the clinic. The rate of injuries was 121.3/1000 children per year in the clinic from the lower social class neighbourhood and 70.7/1000 children per year in the clinic from the middle class neighbourhood. Injuries in playgrounds, and on pavements and streets occurred in higher proportions in the low social class than in the middle class neighbourhood clinics. The most frequent causes of injuries were falls and being struck and injured by cutting/piercing instruments; these caused mostly contusions and lacerations. The clinic was the first place of treatment in 65% of the cases in the middle class area and in 45% in the lower social class area; 28% and 10% respectively were referred to the hospital for additional treatment. Data from primary care clinics should be considered when estimating the incidence of injuries in the community, in planning intervention programmes, and future research.
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