Child injuries are preventable, yet 8,110 children (from 0-19 years) died from injuries in the US in 2017.13 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.
Children during early childhood are more at risk for certain injuries. Using data from 2000-2006, the CDC determined that:
For children less than 1 year of age, two–thirds of injury deaths were due to suffocation.
Drowning was the leading cause of injury death between 1 and 4 years of age.
Falls were the leading cause of nonfatal injury for all age groups of less than 15 years of age.
For children ages 0 to 9, the next two leading causes were being struck by or against an object and animal bites or insect stings.
Rates for fires or burns and drowning were highest for children 4 years and younger.15
Injury in Early Care and Education/Child Care
Families “are naturally concerned for their child’s safety, particularly when cared for outside of the home. However, children who spend more time in nonparental child care have a reduced risk of (unintentional) injury. This may be because child care centers and family day homes provide more supervision and/or safer play equipment. Nevertheless, injuries in child care settings remain a serious, but preventable, health care issue.”16
Type of Injury Prevention Tips
Sudden Infant Death
Always put infants to sleep on their backs
Cribs, bassinets, and play yards should conform to safety standards and
covered in a tight-fitting sheet
There should be no fluffy blankets, pillows, toys, or soft objects in the
Don’t allow children to overheat17
Keeping objects smaller than 1½ inches out of reach of infants, toddlers,
and young children.
Have children stay seated while eating
Cut food into small bites
Ensure children only have access to age-appropriate toys and
Make sure caregivers are trained in CPR
Fence off pools; gates should be self-closing and self-latching
Supervise children in or near water20
Inspect for any standing water indoors or outdoors that is an inch or
Teach children water safety behaviors.21
Have working smoke alarms
Practice fire drills
Never leave food cooking on the stove unattended; supervise any use of
Make sure the water heater is set to 120 degrees or lower22
Keep chemicals, cleaners, lighters, and matches securely locked and out
of reach of children.