Background — Children in lower-income households have higher injury rates. Trends in emergency department (ED) visits by children 0-19 years because of pedestrian motor vehicle collisions (PMVCs) in Ontario, Canada (2008-2015) by socioeconomic status were examined.
Methods — PMVC ED data were obtained from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences for children age 0-19 years over the period 2008-2015. Age-adjusted rates were calculated using Ontario census data. Household income quintiles were determined from the Registered Persons Database. Poisson regression was used to model ED visit rates by year, age and income quintile.
Results — The frequency of child PMVC ED visits in Ontario decreased from 1562 in 2008 to 1281 in 2015. Age-adjusted rates were unchanged over time (IRR 1.00, 95% CI 0.99 to 1.00); however, rate disparities by income status persisted with an IRR of 0.52 (0.50 to 0.55) comparing the highest with the lowest income level.
Conclusions — Exposure to traffic may play a role in rate disparities by income status in child PMVC; however, less safe traffic environments in lower income areas may also be strong contributors. These findings highlight the potential impact of roadway safety modifications in lower income areas to mitigate disparities in injury rates by socioeconomic status.