Examining the effects of public health policies implemented during the COVID‑19 pandemic on unintentional injuries in children and youth in British Columbia and Ontario, including as related to equity and marginalized populations

Pike, Ian | $140,948

British Columbia University of British Columbia 2021 CIHR Operating Grant

Although stay-at-home orders and other measures during pandemics are implemented to protect the population, a serious consequence of quarantine has been a change in the patterns of unintentional injuries among children and youth, with increases seen particularly at home, during some outdoor play and recreational activities such as swimming, and on the road such as cycling. During the height of the pandemic, public health leaders and governments required Canadians to stay-at-home and to maintain 6 feet apart if, and when, they were out. These policies, and the response to them, undoubtedly saved lives. We are unsure however, of how some COVID‑19 policies may have affected other health outcomes. A recent Children First Canada report called, “Raising Canada 2020” reported that it is unknown if and how COVID‑19 policies have had an effect on children and youth in terms of unintentional injury. Preventable injury is the number one threat to children and youth in Canada. Despite this, we do not have data on the number of children and youth affected by unintentional injury during the COVID‑19 restrictions. Our research project will use several sources of data to better understand how many children and youth were injured during the pandemic. We will use data to report on the type of injuries that occurred and how, so that this information can inform us of what to do to prevent this from happening in the future.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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