This report provides information on hospitalised injury in Australian children and young people aged 0 to 24 in 2017–18. Around 130,000 children and young people were hospitalised because of an injury in 2017–18, males outnumbering females by almost 2 to 1. Generally, rates of injury were higher for the older age groups. The overall rate was 1,747 per 100,000, and the highest overall rate was among males aged 18–24, at 2,946 cases per 100,000 population. Rates of injury were also higher in rural and remote areas and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people.


In infants (<12 months), rates of drowning (7.9 per 100,000) and injury due to thermal causes (50 per 100,000) were among the highest of all age groups examined. About 75% of infant drowning cases were in bathtubs.

Children aged 1–4

Compared with other age groups, children aged 1–4 had the highest rate of injury for drowning, accidental poisoning, injury due to thermal causes, and falls). Falls was the most common cause of injury for this age group, with falls from playground equipment being most likely (17% of the Falls in this age group); 37% of playground equipment falls were from trampolines. About 50% of the drownings were in swimming pools.

Children aged 5–9

Rates of injury due to Falls were high for children aged 5–9 (665 per 100,000). The falls were commonly from playground equipment (37% of the Falls in this age group) with 46% of the falls from such equipment being from climbing apparatus.

Children aged 10–14

For children aged 10–14, Transport crash injury, Falls and injuries due to Exposure to inanimate mechanical forces were common. Falls was one of the leading causes of hospitalisation (8,417 hospitalisations) and 321 involved skateboards. Just over half of all cases (55%) of Exposure to inanimate mechanical forces were due to 3 causes: Striking against or struck by sports equipment (739 cases), Striking against or struck by other objects (671) and Contact with other sharp object(s) including a knife (492).

Adolescents aged 15–17

Adolescents aged 15–17 had the highest rate of Intentional self-harm (396 cases per 100,000 population) among children and young people. The rate of Intentional self-harm among female adolescents (658 per 100,000) was over 4 times that of male adolescents (147). The most common means of Intentional self-harm for both female (86%) and male (82%) adolescents was intentional self‑poisoning.

Young adults aged 18–24

Young adults (aged 18–24) had the highest rates of Transport crash injury (420 cases per 100,000 population) and Assault (176). Most transport injuries in young women involved cars (62%) and 8% involved a motorcycle. In contrast, transport injuries in young men more often involved a motorcycle (40%) than a car (34%). The rate of assault for young men (235 per 100,000) was twice that for young women (114). Young women were more likely to have been assaulted by their spouse or domestic partner (48%) than young men (2%).