CDC: Unintentional injury remains No. 1 cause of child death

April 18, 2012

Atlanta – Although the number of children dying from unintentional injuries dropped nearly 30 percent from 2000 to 2009, it is still the No. 1 cause of death among children 19 and younger in the United States, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Researchers found that motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of unintentional injury death among children. Suffocation, drowning, poisoning, fires and falls were other leading causes of death, CDC said.

Suffocation rates among infants younger than 1 increased by 54 percent between 2000 and 2009, and poisoning death rates among teens 15 to 19 years old increased by 91 percent, researchers found.

CDC offers the following tips for preventing child injuries:

  • Put babies to sleep alone on their back.
  • Keep medications out of reach.
  • Use play areas with soft landing surfaces.
  • Install working smoke alarms and create a fire escape plan.
  • Teach children to swim, and supervise them when they are swimming.
  • Always use safety belts or appropriate child safety seats.