Pedestrian injury is a significant health problem among urban children. This study is an analysis of the role of population, income, and ecological factors in the occurrence of child pedestrian collisions. One hundred and ninety-eight motor vehicle collisions occurring in Hartford, Connecticut involving pedestrians younger than 15 years old were reported to police during 1986 through 1987. Collision locations were abstracted from police reports and assigned a census tract. Census tracts were classified as "high frequency" (8+ collisions), "moderate frequency" (3 to 7 collisions), or "low frequency" (0 to 2 collisions). High-frequency census tracts had greater proportions of children and of nonwhite residents than moderate- or low-frequency tracts. They also were characterized by high proportions of households headed by females living below the poverty line. High-frequency tracts had a greater number of children per acre than moderate or low tracts. Children per acre had the strongest association with collision frequency (R = .72) and remained the most consistent when other variables were controlled. The number of children per acre is a potentially useful predictor of census tracts at risk for child pedestrian collisions. This may be useful in developing focused prevention strategies within an urban environment.

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