Pedestrian injuries have always be a dominant threaten to parents as it would result in severe injury or death among younger children. Increasing, it has became not only a issue that concerns our community, but a important topic that gains large number of attention from the whole society. Scientist, phycologist and educators have put a great deal of effort on academic research in order to investigate the major causes of pedestrian injuries, and so that different approaches can be used to prevent childhood pedestrian injuries. While previous studies have focused on vehicle speed and traffic volume which associated with greater injury incidence, a group of scientists (including Phyllis F. Agran, Diane G. Winn, Craig L. Anderson, Cecile Tran and Celeste P. Del Valle) designed a case-control study for Latino children in southern California aged between 1 to 14 years old. The purpose of this study is to identify environmental risk factors on residential neighbourhood streets for paediatric injuries. Factors which were taken into account embrace the number parked vehicle on road, pedestrian presents, car speed and traffic volume. Although this study provides a very detailed and valued information on childhood pedestrian injuries, it is limited to the investigation on the cases occurring on the street in front of the child’s residence which would not be appropriate to represent the overall condition in neighbourhood.
In the section titled “Method”, a very detailed description of the process in regards of the case-control is provided. There are careful explanation of the reason why certain amount of factors are taken into consideration while others are not. But still technical term such as “conditional logistic regression” is left unexplained while it could be the actual title that refers to the overall method. Furthermore, there are several other technical terms, “odds ratio” [OR] and “confidence interval” [CI] which are frequently referred yet explained. The lack of sufficient explanation accompany certain technical terms cause confusion in readers, especially for whom are not familiar with certain professional field. In spite of the fact that these terms may be obviously self-explained by associating with the context of the overall article, this assumption which rely heavily on reader’s familiarity with the topic should concern the authors as it decreases the clarity of conveying information.
Under results section, Table 1 provides the key information in which comparison of correlation coefficients between neighbourhood environmental measurements and measurements at the scene of the injury, by distance form home, for those cases occurring on the street, are presented. Table 2 presents percentage in each age category which divided participants into three groups, 0-9 years old, 10-14 years old and above 14 years old. Table 3 displays the ratio of incidence of injury between children living in a multiple family residence and children living in singe family, which is one of the major finding in this study. Notwithstanding the importance of the Table 2 and Table 3, they are not presented nor their absences are addressed to the reader beforehand whereas table 4-7 are indicated as to be omitted ( TABULAR DATA OMITTED). These uninformed absences of data seriously decreases the quality of data analysis, furthermore readers are left in confusion and so that a considerable amount of important findings revealed in these tables are easily ignored.
In the discussion section headed ” Housing/Play Areas”, it is claimed that the lack of play areas in residence is not taken into account because the characteristic of appropriate play area is not defined even though previous study reported that the lack of play area was a major factor for pedestrian injury. Lack of play area however is a fairly risk factor, the standard of appropriate size itself may be hard to define, more importantly, lack of play is tired with other factors that have been found in this study, such as the number of pedestrians present. The lack of play area increases the likelihood of children exposure to pedestrians injuries as streets or driveways in front of residence are preferred as a substitution of “play area”. Therefore, this situation directly influences the obversion of number of pedestrians present.
Overall, this article provides a considerable amount of valued information on the environmental factors which may cause children pedestrians injuries. Furthermore, there are a number of suggestions on how to prevent childhood pedestrians injuries. One of the key to prevention is requirement of recognition of “high risk areas” which can be defined in accordance with the findings generated from this case-control study. Despite the lack of explanation on technical terms; absence of important supportive information (tables) and the limits that confined this study, this article not only provides a fundamental recognition for further research on this topic, but also is written in a careful and objective manner.