You'll get to guns waaaaaaay down the post...for a reason: They account for ~600 accidental deaths annually.
Child injuries* are preventable, yet more than 9,000 children died from injuries in the US in 2009. Car crashes, suffocation, drowning, poisoning, fires, and falls are some of the most common ways children are hurt or killed. The number of children dying from injury dropped nearly 30% over the last decade. However, injury is still the number 1 cause of death among children. More can be done to keep our children safe.
* 'Child injuries' refers to unintentional injuries that occur among children and teens 0-19 years.
Injury: The #1 killer of children U.S.
This figure shows the child injury death rate among children 0-14 years of high-income countries old per 100,000 people, in 2008. The country with the lowest child injury death rate is Sweden with a rate of 1.96, followed by the Netherlands (2.38), United Kingdom (2.85), France (3.39), Canada (4.64), Australia (4.84), and Poland (5.97). The US ranks among the worst with a rate of 8.65, 4 times greater than the country with the lowest rate (Sweden, 1.96). The United States is followed by New Zealand with a rate of 11.08 and Mexico at 12.72.
Map of the United States showing the child injury death rates for each state per 100,000 children 0-19, in 2009. States with the highest rates of child injury, 18.0 to 25.9 per 100,000 children 0-19, include: South Carolina, Alaska, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, and Mississippi.
States with child injury death rates from 11.0 to 17.9 per 100,000 children 0-19 include: Utah, Arizona, Maine, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Delaware, Michigan, West Virginia, Texas, Indiana, North Carolina, Tennessee, Florida, Idaho, Nevada, Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, North Dakota, Alabama, Arkansas, and New Mexico.
States with the lowest rates of child injury death, 4.0 to 10.9 per 100,000 children 0-19 include: Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, California, Rhode Island, Maryland, Illinois, Virginia, Oregon, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, Colorado, Washington, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Georgia, and Hawaii.
Vermont and Washington, DC do not have enough child injury deaths to report and are suppressed on the map.
By The Numbers:
9,143: Number of children, who die from injuries, annually.
4,564: Number of children, who die from motor vehicle related injuries, annually.
41%: Percentage increase in child deaths from motor vehicle-related injuries between 2000 and 2009.
1,160: Number of children, who die from suffocation, annually.
30%: Percentage increase in the suffocation death rate between 2000 and 2009.
983: Number of children, who die from drowning, annually.
28%: Percentage decrease in drowning deaths between 2000 and 2009.
824: Number of children, who die from poisonings, annually.
80%: Percentage increase in child deaths from poisonings between 2000 and 2009, largely due to prescription drug overdoses.
391: Number of children, who die from fires or burns, annually.
45%: Percentage decrease in fire/burn death rate between 2000 and 2009.
151: Number of child deaths from falls annually.
19%: Percentage decrease in the fall death rate between 2000 and 2009.
By Ryn Gargulinski
Accidents happen — and they also kill enough people to rank as the No. 1 cause of death for those ages 1 to 42, according to the National Safety Council. Accidents are the fifth-leading cause of death across all age groups, topped only by a spate of illnesses that include heart disease and cancer. And it’s not the heavy-machinery operators, high-rise window washers or electricians who most frequently succumb to fatal accidents. The vast majority of accidental deaths happen at home or in the community — not at work — with the top five causes often stemming from routine activities.
5. Choking (Approximately 2,500 deaths per year)
Hot dogs can be a quick, easy — and deadly — meal. Hot dogs are the perfect size, shape and consistency to block a child’s airway, and a WebMd report rates hot dogs as the top choking hazard for children. Choking killed about 2,500 people in 2009, according to the National Safety Council, and kids ages 3 and under are at the highest risk. Potential choking hazards include balloons, marshmallows, gooey gel candies, grapes, nuts, chewing gum, carrots, chunks of meat and peanut butter, apples, hard, round candies and small toys kids like to put in their mouths. Reduce your child’s risk of choking by cutting up foods into very small pieces and closely monitoring your children while eating, especially if they are eating while walking, laughing or fooling around.
4. Fires (2,700 annual deaths)
A smoking gun isn’t the only thing that can kill — smoking, flaming and burning homes typically kill thousands of folks each year. Deaths from residential fires in the United States dropped to a five-year low in 2009, with 2,480, but a good chunk of them probably could have been avoided. Smoking is the cause behind some 450 of the fire deaths annually, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, while other “careless” causes result in another 400 deaths each year. So blow out that candle. Another 80 or so yearly deaths are the result of fires in non-residential buildings. Public safety initiatives to get fire alarms installed and regularly checked in all residential dwellings has cut the number of deaths from fires by roughly one-third in the past 20 years.
3. Falls (25,000 annual deaths)
Falls into the Grand Canyon may make the headlines, but falls around the home are the ones killing people at an alarming rate. Falls killed about 25,000 people in 2009, according to he National Safety Council, with those over age 65 making up the vast majority of the victims. In fact, falls are the leading cause of injury death for folks age 65 and older, the Centers for Disease Control reports, as well as their most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospitalization for trauma. Death rates from falls among those 65 and older have also skyrocketed in the past decade, although the CDC does not say why. Kids fall, too, but they usually don’t die from it. Home and playground falls are the leading cause of nonfatal injuries for children up to age 19. Supervising kids, reducing home tripping risks and regular exercise for older adults can lower the fall risk.
2. Poisoning (39,000 annual deaths)
There’s a reason people warn against abusing drugs — it kills you. Poisoning killed nearly 40,000 people in 2009, according to the National Safety Council, with most of the deaths associated with the accidental ingestion of illegal drugs. The number of deaths is up almost 400 percent in the past 20 years. Perhaps surprisingly, children getting into kitchen solvents or grandma’s well-stocked medicine cabinets are not the ones dying at alarming rates. Adults ages 25 to 44 are subject to the highest poisoning death rates, followed closely by those in the 45 to 64 age group. Drugs account for more than 10 times the amount of poisoning deaths of all other substances, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Top culprits are opioid pain medications, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone and methadone, with cocaine and heroin ranked second and third. Alcohol poisoning exists, but its numbers are so comparatively low it barely makes a blip on the National Safety Council’s poisoning death chart.
1. Motor Vehicle Incidents (42,000 annual deaths)
If motorists would stop texting, cell-phone yakking, applying makeup and eating while driving, we’d surely have fewer than the 36,000 deaths associated with motor vehicle crashes the National Safety Council reported for 2009. Distracted driving is the No. 1 offender and young adults are the No. 1 offenders, with their fatal crash rate three times higher than any other age group. But don’t think you can breathe easy just because you are over age 21.While vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 15- to 20-year-olds, the crashes young drivers cause kill people in all age groups. So hang up that cell-phone call, stop texting in the intersection and buckle that seat belt, all of which can reduce your death risk considerably. Oh, and don’t drink and drive. Alcohol is involved in about 32 percent of fatal crashes across the board.
The 42,000 annual deaths noted above include some 5,000 annual pedestrian fatalities — most the result of motor-vehicle incidents — and several hundred fatalities attributed to vehicle/bicycle collisions, according to the Centers For Disease Control.
One More: Drowning (2,000 annual deaths)
The adage is true: children can, in fact, drown in as little as 1 inch of water. Add an unmanned, unfenced and much deeper swimming pool into the equation and you have yourself a very deadly mix. Approximately 2,000 people drowned in 2009, the National Safety Council reports, with the Centers for Disease Control noting that drowning is the leading cause of injury death for children ages 1 to 4. Life jackets, pool fences and knowing CPR can help save lives, as can taking a gander around the home for other drowning hazards. Bathtubs — even those with baby seats or supportive devices — pose a huge risk, as do buckets, hot tubs, ice chests containing melted ice and toilets. That childproof toilet lid latch is not a joke. Drowning hazards outside the home include irrigation ditches, wells, fountains, fish ponds and even a small and shallow post hole, provided it has at least 1 inch of water.
Postscript: Accidental Shootings (600 annual deaths)
Kids and guns don’t mix, especially when those guns are carelessly left in unlocked cabinets or even in plain view. Accidental shootings resulted in 642 deaths in 2009, placing them seventh on this list. Firearms are the second-leading cause of non-natural deaths for kids, typically from a gun the kid finds somewhere around the house, according to a University of Utah report that mentioned additional horrific statistics. About two-thirds of accidental shooting deaths happen in the home, with the kid shooting himself to death in 45 percent of the cases and friends or family members pulling the trigger in the remainder. More than 50 percent of American households have a gun in the house, and, in one survey of evidently careless families, 10 percent said they had loaded firearms in unlocked locations that were easily accessible to kids. There is obviously a need to keep guns in locked, inaccessible and child-resistant locations and store them unloaded.
By The Numbers:
Death And Injury Rates From Accidents
By The Numbers:
#1: The rank of cause of death from accidents for those ages 1 to 42, according to the National Safety Council.
#5: The rank of cause of death from accidents for ALL age groups annually, according to the National Safety Council, topped only by a spate of illnesses that include heart disease and cancer.
2,500: Number of deaths from choking annually, according to the National Safety Council.
2,700: Number of deaths from fires annually, according to the National Safety Council.
25,000: Number of deaths from falls annually, according to the National Safety Council.
39,000: Number of deaths from poisoning - overwhelmingly caused by overdoses - annually, according to the National Safety Council.
400%: Increase in the number of deaths from poisoning - primarily from overdoses - in the last 20 years, according to the National Safety Council.
25 to 44: Age group that has the highest poisoning death rates, according to the National Safety Council.
45 to 64: Age group that has the second-highest poisoning death rates, according to the National Safety Council.
10X: Number of poisoning deaths from drugs are 10 times the amount of poisoning deaths of all other substances, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
#1: The rank of poisoning deaths from oxycodone, hydrocodone and methadone.
#2: The rank of poisoning deaths from cocaine.
#3: The rank of poisoning deaths from heroin.
42,000: Number of deaths from car accidents, according to the National Safety Council.
#1: Rank of cause of death from distracted driving.
#1: Number one driving offenders that cause fatal driving accidents are young adults, who have a fatal crash rate three times higher than any other age group.
15- to 20-year-olds: Age group that dies from car accidents more than any cause.
32%: Percentage of traffic deaths due to alcohol.
5,000: Annual number of pedestrian fatalities, according to the Centers For Disease Control.
2,000: Annual number of deaths from drowning with the swimming pool and bathtub being the most frequent places where drownings occur.
1-4: Age group most likely to die from drownings, which are the group's #1 cause of death, according to the National Safety Council and the Centers for Disease Control.
642: Number of deaths from accidental shootings annually.
Sports Injuries Statistics
How frequently do sports injuries occur?
In the United States, about 30 million children and teens participate in some form of organized sports, and more than 4.0 million injuries each year, which cause some loss of time of participation, are experienced by the participants. Almost one-third of all injuries incurred in childhood are sports-related injuries. By far, the most common injuries are sprains and strains.
Obviously, some sports are more dangerous than others. For example, contact sports such as football can be expected to result in a higher number of injuries than a non-contact sport such as swimming. However, all types of sports have a potential for injury, whether from the trauma of contact with other players or from overuse or misuse of a body part.
Injury statistics and incidence rates:
The following statistics are the latest available from the National SAFE KIDS Campaign and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP):
Childhood Injury Rates:
4 million: Number of children and adolescents ages 14 and under, who get hurt annually playing sports or participating in recreational activities.
21%: Percentage of all traumatic brain injuries among children and adolescents resulting from sports and recreational activities.
775,000: Number of children and adolescents ages 14 and under, who are treated in hospital emergency rooms for sports-related injuries each year.
25%: Percentage of the 775,000 hospital-treated injuries that are considered to be “serious.”
62%: Percentage of organised sports-related injuries that occur during practice.
30 million: Number of high school children, who participate in organised sports.
40%: Percentage of all sports-related injuries sustained by children between 5 and 14 years.
205,400+: Number of children ages five to 14, who are treated in hospital emergency rooms for basketball-related injuries annually.
3-4: Number of children, who die from playing baseball - the sport with the highest fatality rate among sports for children ages 5 to 14 – annually.
108,300: Number of children ages five to 14, who are treated in hospital emergency rooms for baseball-related injuries annually.
285,000: Number of children ages five to 14, who are treated in hospital emergency rooms for bicycle-related injuries annually.
185,700: Number of children ages five to 14, who are treated in hospital emergency rooms for football-related injuries annually.
10,600: Number of children ages five to 14, who are treated in hospital emergency rooms for ice skating-related injuries annually.
27,200: Number of children ages five to 14, who are treated in hospital emergency rooms for in-line skating-related injuries annually.
50,000+: Number of children ages five to 14, who are treated in hospital emergency rooms for skateboarding-related injuries annually.
15,000+: Number of children ages five to 14, who are treated in hospital emergency rooms for sledding-related injuries annually.
35,000+: Number of children ages five to 14, who are treated in hospital emergency rooms for snow-boarding and snow-skiing-related injuries annually.
75,000: Number of children ages five to 14, who are treated in hospital emergency rooms for soccer-related injuries annually.
80,000: Number of children ages 14 and under, who are treated in hospital emergency rooms for trampoline-related injuries annually.