CHILD SAFETY & AWARENESS: PROTECT THE ONES YOU LOVE

Childhood unintentional injuries are the #1 cause of death among children ages 1 to 19 years, representing nearly 40 percent of all deaths in this age group. Each year, an estimated 8.7 million children and teens from birth to age 19 are treated in emergency departments (EDs) for unintentional injuries and more than 9,000 die as a result of their injuries—one every hour. Common causes of fatal and nonfatal unintentional childhood injuries include: drowning, falls, fires or burns, poisoning, suffocation, and transportation-related injuries. Injuries claim the lives of 25 children every day.

While tragic, many of these injuries are predictable and preventable. Diverse segments of society are involved in addressing preventable injuries to children; however, until now, no common set of national goals, strategies, or actions exist to help guide a coordinated national effort.

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The most common causes of unintentional injuries leading to death among children include motor vehicle crashes, suffocation, drowning, poisoning, and fire and burn-related injuries (Table 1).

Table 1. The five leading causes and number of unintentional injury deaths among children, by age group, United States, 2009

Rank* Age <1 Ages 1–4 Ages 5–9 Ages 10–14 Ages 15–19
1 Suffocation
907 (77%)
Drowning
450 (31%)
Motor Vehicle (MV) Traffic
378 (49%)
MV Traffic
491 (68%)
MV Traffic
3,242 (67%)
2 MV Traffic
91 (8%)
MV Traffic
363 (25%)
Drowning
119 (15%)
Transportation – Other
117 (15%)
Poisoning
715 (15%)
3 Drowning
45 (4%)
Fire/Burns
169 (12%)
Fire/Burns
88 (11%)
Drowning
90 (10%)
Drowning
279 (6%)
4 Fire/Burns
25 (2%)
Transportation – Other
147 (10%)
Transportation – Other
68 (9%)
Fire/Burns
53 (6%)
Transportation – Other
203 (4%)
5 Poisoning
22 (2%)
Suffocation
125 (9%)
Suffocation
26 (3%)
Suffocation
41 (5%)
Fall
58 (1%)

How the United States Compares to Other High-Income Countries
Sweden, the United Kingdom, Italy, and the Netherlands have the lowest rates of child injury deaths among 1 to 14 years olds. In contrast, the United States and Portugal have some of the highest rates of child injury deaths with rates that are more than twice that of the highest-ranking countries.

If the United States had child injury rates as low as Sweden’s from the period 1991–1995, we would save 4,700 U.S. children annually. Since 1910, reductions in unintentional injury deaths (in red) have lagged behind reductions in other health conditions affecting U.S. children.

Protect the Ones You Love: Child Injuries are Preventable

The CDC has launched a new initiative to drive awareness in child safety. Parents can play a life-saving role in protecting children from injuries. Protect the Ones You Love is dedicated to sharing information on the important steps parents can take to make a positive difference.

onesyouloveSources:

http://www.cdc.gov/safechild/NAP/background.html