American Renaissance

Minority Kids More Likely To Fall

AP, newsday.com, May 8

Minority children are more likely to be hurt in falls from buildings than white children, according to a study by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center.

But children in New York City are less likely than those in other places to be hurt in falls, even though more than half the city’s residents live in buildings with 10 or more units, the study found.

The injury rates for building falls among children in New York City are close to half the national average, according to the report, which appears in the May 2004 issue of the journal Applied Environmental Science and Public Health.

The study attributed the lower rate in the city to mandatory window guards, which the city has required in apartments where young children live since 1976. New York is the only large city in the country to enact such window guard legislation, the study said.

Young Latino and black children were twice as likely to be seriously hurt in a fall from a building than white children, the study found.

It also found that children in low-income ZIP codes were more likely than those in more affluent neighborhoods to suffer injuries in a fall from a building.

The report found peaks in injuries from falls during warmer months, when families — especially those who can’t afford air conditioning — are more likely to open their windows.

The study was conducted using hospital discharge data from New York state and a database of admissions data from 27 states.

Copyright © 2004, Newsday, Inc.