The Seven Leading Causes of Injuries to Children And How To Prevent Them

Most injuries to children are unintentional. In fact, most are preventable and the result of a lack of child safety. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), close to nine million children are treated for injuries in hospital emergency rooms every year. In addition, more than 225,000 children are hospitalized – and 9,000 die – due to unintentional injuries.

Injuries to children can be costly in many ways. Injuries can result in death or disability, as well as expensive medical bills and even weeks or months of lost wages for the child’s caregiver. The following is a list of the seven leading causes of injuries to children, and how they can be prevented.

1. Falls

Falls are the single largest cause of injury to children who are 14 years of age and under. They account for more than 2.8 million visits to the emergency room each year. Children most often fall from windows, balconies, playground equipment, bunk beds, or fall down staircases. To prevent your child from being injured in these ways, you can install safety rails and guards for windows, stairs, balconies and beds. You can also supervise them more closely when they are on the playground.

2. Motor Vehicle-Related Accidents

Motor vehicle-related accidents account for the majority of deaths among children in the U.S. who are between the ages of 5 and 19. These injuries can be sustained by children when they are occupants in motor vehicles, riding bicycles or motorcycles, and even when they are pedestrians. Children who are not restrained by seat belts and car seats are five times more likely to be killed or injured in an auto accident. Therefore, you should make sure that children always fasten their seat belts properly and that car seats properly fit to restrain the child during each and every trip.

3. Suffocation

Unintentional suffocation is the number one cause of injury (fatal and nonfatal) for infants and children younger than one year old. More than three-fourths of all injury-related deaths among children in this age group are due to suffocation.

Young children have narrower airways and are less adept at chewing and swallowing than older children and adults. Furthermore, they often put objects that should not be swallowed into their mouths.

To help prevent suffocation, always lay infants down on their backs. When feeding small children, break their food up into small bite-sized pieces and encourage them to chew thoroughly before swallowing. Never let children eat when they’re running and playing. To be on the safe side, parents and caregivers should learn CPR, in case of emergency.

4. Drowning

Drowning is the leading cause injury deaths among children between the ages of 1 and 4. Drowning rates for African American children are 45 times higher than for white children. Children can drown in a variety of places. Infants sometimes drown in bathtubs, while children between the ages of 1 and 4 are more likely to drown in swimming pools. Older children tend to drown in natural bodies of water, such as lakes, ponds, and rivers. To prevent drowning, stay with young children when they are bathing, swimming or near bodies of water, and install fences and safety gates around pools and jacuzzis.

5. Fires and Burns

Fires and burns affect children of all ages. Natural curiosity and inability to adequately assess danger lead young children to higher rates of fire and burn injuries. Babies and infants are susceptible to smoke-related inhalation injuries, and young children are less capable of escaping residential fires on their own. To prevent fire and burn injuries, make sure that you install smoke and fire alarms throughout your home, and that you teach your children what they should do in case of fire.

6. Poisonings

Every day, two children die and more than 300 hundred children across the country are taken to emergency rooms to be treated as a result of poisoning. Children under the age of five account for more than 80 percent of these poisoning victims.

Aside from the most obvious substances in your home that can be dangerous to a child, such as toxic products and prescription medication, children are often poisoned by everyday things, such as liquid soap, cosmetics, and over-the-counter medication.

Young children are naturally curious and will often eat or drink anything that they get their hands on. To minimize this risk, you should keep your cleaning supplies, cosmetics, and medication out of their reach – preferably, in a childproof cupboard or behind lock and key.

7. Sports and Recreation

Engaging in sports and other recreational activities is a natural part of a child’s development. But along with the benefits to their health and fitness comes a certain degree of risk. There are, however, steps that you can take to ensure your children’s safety when playing sports and engaging in recreational activities.

First, you can make sure that they wear the right protective gear for the sport or activity, such as knee pads, elbow pads, and helmets. Second, makes sure that the sports or recreational equipment that they’re using is in good condition and being used in the manner for which it was intended. Finally, parents, coaches and playground supervisors should monitor the temperature and make sure that children stay hydrated and do not overexert or dehydrate themselves.

Contact Jacobs Law LLC Today

Everyone knows that children do the darndest things – sometimes, that can result in serious injury. If your child was injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, contact us today. We offer free consultations for all personal injury and wrongful death claims. Learn about your legal rights from an experienced Indianapolis personal injury lawyer by filling out our free, no-obligation case review form, or calling toll-free at (317) 794-2024. Through our office in Indianapolis, we represent families across Central Indiana.

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