BeChildSafe.org is devoted to the health and safety of children.
Unintentional Injury Still the Leading Cause of Death in Children
The last issue of the Ten Leading Causes of Death and Injury1 chart by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which published data from 2011, clearly indicates that accidents are the leading cause of death in children ages 1 to 19 (and in people ages 1-44). For the purpose of this blog and this article, however, we are focusing on the leading causes of death in young children and on the kinds of accidents which make up the statistic of more than 1,300 accidental deaths each year in the United States in the age group of one to four years.
Children and adolescents die from accidents more than from any other cause of death, including cancer and heart disease, according to the CDC in 2012.2 The high number of accidental deaths in children prompted the CDC for a call to public action. BeChildSafe.org is responding by writing articles which call attention to unintentional injuries in children and how parents, families and children’s caregivers can help to prevent them.
The CDC has observed trends in the accidental deaths of young children and identified some major causes to be infant suffocation, mostly caused by the lack of safe sleeping environments, and sudden unexpected infant death syndrome (SUIDS), motor vehicle accidents, and accidental poisonings.
The CDC notes that improvements made in the use of seat belts, child safety and booster seats, and vehicle design have contributed positively to the reduced number of accidental deaths in children involved in motor vehicle traffic accidents.3 But we still must consider and contend with the causes of other accidents and poisonings. Nine out of ten accidents occur in our homes–and so we focus on how to improve the care of young children in and around the home and in helping to increase the knowledge and encourage the commitment of parents and caregivers to safety and healthful living with young children. This continues to be the focus of our mission at BeChildSafe.org.
1“Ten Leading Causes of Death and Injury, 2011”, National Vital Statistics System, National Center for Health Statistics, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/LeadingCauses.html
2“Vital Signs: Unintentional Injury and Deaths”, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report,
April 12, 2012, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia;
3Ibid., “Vital Signs: Unintentional Injury and Deaths”.