The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that unintentional injuries continue to be the leading cause of death in the U.S. for those aged 1-19, accounting for 37 percent of all deaths in this age group.
The major causes of child injury in the U.S. include:
Vehicle crashes – more than 8,000 children under 18 are killed each year in motor vehicle accidents. Although there has been a significant decrease in injury and death due to vehicle crashes, it remains the biggest killer of children today. To help prevent an injury or death, always use seat belts, child safety seats and booster seats that are age and weight appropriate for each child.
Suffocation – approximately 1,160 children die every year from suffocation, a number that has increased 30 percent in the past decade. Prevention measures include making sure an infant sleeps alone and is placed on their backs on a firm surface, ensuring that a child’s crib meets safety standards and avoiding soft toys or loose bedding in a crib.
Drowning – two children under the age of 14 die every day in the U.S. from drowning. Children should be taught to swim at an early age and an adult should always be present wherever children are swimming. Pools should be enclosed by a four-sided fence with self-closing and self-latching gates.
Poisoning – child deaths from poisoning grew 80 percent in the past decade, accounting for approximately 824 deaths per year. In addition, the death rate for teens due to prescription drug overdose increased by 91 percent in that same time period. Medicines should be kept away from children and teens, and cleaning products should be kept in their original packaging where children can’t get to them.
Fire – over 320 children die each year from a fire or burns. To help prevent this, smoke alarms should be installed in every level of the home and in each bedroom and families should develop and practice a family fire escape plan. If possible, install a fire sprinkler system in your home.
Falls – more than 150 children are killed annually from a fall, and 2.8 million are treated for fall-related injuries. To help prevent death or injury from a fall, be sure your child always uses protective headgear while riding a bike or engaging in sports, use a soft landing surface under and around playground equipment and install protective rails on bunk beds and loft beds.
Injuries to children are costly in many ways, including emotionally and financially, impacting not only the child but the caregivers as well.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury, the experienced product liability legal team at Roberts & Roberts is here to help with compassionate, aggressive representation. Please call 800-248-6000 or contact us for a free consultation.