Focusing on Child Injuries and Prevention Methods
How often do childhood injuries occur? Are children of specific ages more susceptible to certain injuries than are kids in other age groups? According to a recent article in the Bonners Ferry Herald, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about 10 million kids visit emergency departments across the country every year because of an injury, more than 10,000 of those injuries end up being fatal. To put that number another way, one out of every six kids (more than 15%) requires treatment in an emergency department each year because of an injury. In many of these situations, some injuries could have been prevented.
Back in 2012, the CDC recognized the growing problem of child injuries and launched a National Action Plan for Child Injury Prevention (NAP). The NAP aims to raise awareness about the prevalence of childhood injuries, to make parents and caregivers mindful of prevention methods, and ultimately to decrease the total number of child injuries each year.
Some of the prevention methods that the NAP has advocated seem to be working. For example, the NAP developed community awareness and educational opportunities about “childproofing” homes with young children. Childproofing can involve, for instance, installing cupboard door lock mechanisms to prevent young children from accessing harmful household materials, or installing baby gates to prevent kids from falling down stairs.
In addition to childproofing, the NAP has urged parents to pay greater attention to the proper safety use of child safety seats in cars, an especially important development given that the highest number of child injuries occur in automobile accidents. What are some other child injury prevention strategies that have gained traction through the NAP’s efforts? The article also cites bicycle helmet campaigns, revised concussion guidelines for youth athletes, placing smoke alarms in homes, and installing pool fencing to prevent drowning.
Getting the Facts About Childhood Injuries
What are the most common injuries for young children? What types of injuries pose the greatest risks for teens? A Childhood Injury Report from the CDC cites the following facts and figures about child injuries:
- Transportation-related injuries are the leading cause of death for all children aged 0-19;
- For children under one year of age, the leading cause of death is suffocation (about two-thirds of all fatal injuries in this age group);
- Drowning is the leading cause of fatal injury for kids between the ages of one and four;
- For kids aged 5 to 19, the leading cause of death is being an occupant in a car accident;
- Transportation-related deaths among children are highest in the southern United States; and
- Fall-related injuries are the leading cause of non-fatal childhood injuries among all age groups.
Child injuries happen too often. In the event that your child suffered an injury as a result of someone’s negligence, contact an experienced child injury attorney to determine your child’s rights.