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Car Crashes, Falls Top List of Accidental Injuries for Kids
Date:12/10/2008

CDC researchers say it's an under-recognized public health problem,,

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Motor vehicle crashes and falls cause most of the unintentional child and teen injuries and deaths in the United States, a new government report shows.

From 2001 to 2006, about 55 million children and teens (9.2 million a year) were treated at emergency departments for unintentional injuries, say researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Falls caused the majority of non-fatal injuries (about 2.8 million a year), while most deaths were transportation-related -- about 8,000 deaths a year involved a motor vehicle occupant, pedestrian or cyclist.

The report said falls were associated with more than half of nonfatal injuries involving children younger than 1, while transportation-related injuries and deaths were highest among teens aged 15 to 19.

Among the other key findings in the report:

  • On average, 12,175 children aged 0 to 19 years died each year in the United States from an unintentional injury.
  • Overall, the highest fatality rates were among occupants of motor vehicles.
  • The leading causes of injury death differed by age group. For children younger than 1, two-thirds of injury deaths were due to suffocation. Drowning was the leading cause of injury death for those aged 1 to 4. For children aged 5 to 19, the majority of injury deaths were due to being an occupant in a motor vehicle traffic crash.
  • Children aged 1 to 4 had the highest nonfatal injury rates due to poisoning and falls.
  • Males were nearly twice as likely as females to die as a result of unintentional injuries.
  • Risk for injury death varied by race, with the highest rates among American Indian and Alaska Natives and the lowest rates among Asians or Pacific Islanders. Overall death rates for whites and blacks were similar.
  • Injury death rates varied by
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