Injury hazard assessment in schools: Findings from a pilot study in Karachi, Pakistan

Uzma Rahim Khan, Asrar Ali, Ahmed Raheem, Aeman Naseer, Kate Wright, Junaid Bhatti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Injuries are a major public health concern and one of the leading causes of death and disability worldwide. Childhood injuries contribute to a major proportion of this burden. Objective: To identify injury hazards within school premises and playgrounds in Karachi, Pakistan. Methods: This observational cross-sectional study took place in 107 public and private schools of Karachi, Pakistan using a self-structured standard injury risk assessment tool. This tool was developed after an extensive literature review, expert consultation, and field visits to a few local schools. Data related to school demographics, administrative data and injury hazards within the school boundaries were collected in schools offering education from nursery to secondary grades (through 10th grade, matriculation). Descriptive analysis were calculated. Results: Out of 107 schools, only 12 were recording school-related injuries. A quarter (25%) of schools had some type of disaster drill exercises and built-in fire exits. Fire alarms were placed in 10 schools (9%), all of which were private. In 16 schools (15%), students had access to rooftop doors. There were multiple injury hazards in the school playgrounds. More than half of the schools had hazardous playground surfaces, such as slippery, concrete and uneven ground. Over 80% of schools were not supervising the children during playtime and did not have a separate play area for children under 6 years old. In 38 schools (22%), there were multiple injury hazards in the play rides, such as broken equipment, rusted parts, and sharp edges. Moreover, nine schools (7%) had loose nuts, bolts, edges, belts, steps, or rails in their play rides. Inside, almost a quarter (24%, n = 76) of schools did not have proper insulation of electric wires. Protruded metal nails, which could be high risk for prick and cut injuries, were observed in 20% of the observed furniture. Conclusion: In conclusion, there are multiple injury hazards in the private and public schools of Karachi, Pakistan.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110666
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • Childhood injury
  • Karachi
  • Pakistan
  • Playground injury
  • School hazards
  • School injury


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