Factors in a child's living environment and socioeconomic background that contribute to the risk of pedestrian injury were studied. In 1982, in the city of Memphis, there were 210 pedestrian injuries among children aged 0 to 14 years, a rate of 138/100,000 children. The injured child was most often male, with mean age of 7.3 years; the child was usually struck while crossing the street between intersections, most commonly during the hours from 2 to 7 PM. Pedestrian injuries occurred in 81 of the 142 census tracts in the city. Compared with census tracts without reported injuries, these tracts had twice the percentage of nonwhite population, lower household incomes, more children living in female-headed house-holds, more families living below the poverty level, and greater household crowding (all differences significant at P < .01). The single variable of crowded housing per acre best predicted the number of injuries per acre in multiple regression analysis. A group of children who are at high risk of pedestrian injury through increased exposure in the environment was identified. As with many other types of injuries, modification of external factors—in this case, traffic engineering modifications—seems to be the most practical solution.

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