Pediatric violence-related injuries in Boston: results of a city-wide emergency department surveillance program

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Academic Medical Centers; Adolescent; Age Distribution; Boston; Child; Child Welfare; Child, Preschool; Emergency Service, Hospital; Female; Health Care Surveys; Hospitals, General; Hospitals, Pediatric; Humans; Incidence; Male; Population Surveillance; Prospective Studies; Regression Analysis; Retrospective Studies; Sex Distribution; Urban Health; Violence; Wounds and Injuries


Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Emergency Medicine | Pediatrics | Preventive Medicine


CONTEXT: Violence-related injuries among children are common, but age-based incidence data are not easily available.

OBJECTIVES: To describe injuries due to violence in a population-based case series of children and to estimate injury incidence.

DESIGN: Prospective surveillance of children residing in Boston, Mass, who received pediatric emergency department treatment for violence-related injury during a 4-year period beginning April 15, 1995.

SETTING: Pediatric emergency departments in Boston.

PATIENTS: Children aged 3 through 18 years who came to a hospital emergency department between April 1995 and April 1999. Violence-related injuries were defined as those resulting from a situation of conflict involving 2 or more persons with intent to harm, as assessed by health care personnel caring for the patients. Self-inflicted injuries and injuries caused by child abuse (including any injury resulting from a conflict with a parent or guardian) were excluded. Homicides of Boston children aged 3 through 18 years who were killed during the study period were included based on police data.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Population-based violence-related injury rates.

RESULTS: There were 2035 injury-related visits caused by violence, which reflects a rate of 52.7 (95% confidence interval, 50.5-54.9) per 10 000 person-years. Most injuries were relatively minor; 6.4% of visits resulted in admission. The youth violence-related injury rate in Boston declined at an average rate of 12% annually during the period studied.

CONCLUSION: Pediatric emergency department monitoring of violence-related injury in Boston suggests that childhood injuries due to violence declined during the late 1990s.

DOI of Published Version



Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2002 Jan;156(1):73-6. doi:10.1001/archpedi.156.1.73.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Archives of pediatrics and adolescent medicine


At the time of publication, Wenjun Li was not yet affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID