BACKGROUND

This account of injuries suffered by children in day-care settings uses information from the data base of the Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program (CHIRPP). The aim of CHIRPP, inaugurated in 1990 by Health and Welfare Canada and the 10 Canadian pediatric hospitals, is to make an important contribution to reducing the incidence and severity of injuries in Canada. This is to be accomplished through an emergency room-based surveillance system that allows identification of existing and new injury hazards. Since the inception of CHIRPP, three general hospitals have joined the program. The data base includes a wealth of information about how injuries happen and is available to provide quick answers about injury occurrence as well as for more detailed research.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Each injured person (or, in the case of a child, the accompanying adult) who arrives at the emergency room of a CHIRPP hospital is asked to complete a one-page self-administered questionnaire that collects demographic information and information about when, where, and how the injury occurred. On the other side of the form the examining physician records the nature of up to three injuries and how the case was handled in the emergency room (eg, treated and released, admitted). Completed CHIRPP forms are sent to the Laboratory Centre for Disease Control, Health and Welfare Canada where the information is entered into the main CHIRPP data base, usually within 3 months of the injury's occurrence. In addition to coded information, each record includes a one-line description of how the injury happened.

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