Maternal health problems correlate with increased risk of early childhood injury in the UK

Antti Tanskanen


In contemporary western societies unintended injuries are the most common cause of early childhood mortality, and research showing associations between risk factors and childhood injury is therefore needed. Even though maternal health problems may increase the risk of childhood injury, not enough studies have looked at the association between different maternal health problems and childhood injury. We investigated the associations between maternal health factors and injuries having occurred in the home to children between the ages of 9 months and 3 years. We used the British Millennium Cohort Study (n = 12,150 children) where mothers have answered questions concerning their own health as well as injuries to their children. We studied the associations between maternal health factors and childhood injury using binary logistic regression analysis. After controlling for several potential confounding factors, we found that mothers’ poor general health and longstanding illness were associated with children’s increased probability of injury. In addition, several maternal health problems (e.g. migraine and depression) correlated with a higher likelihood of early childhood injury. Thus, improving maternal health is important when the aim is to reduce injuries during the early years of childhood.

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