Child injury death often due to poor supervision: study

May 11, 2011

Columbia, MO – The majority of unintentional injury deaths among children could be prevented with proper supervision and caregiver intervention, suggests a recent study from the Missouri University Sinclair School of Nursing.

Researchers presented “child death review” team members from five states with 20 unintentional injury death scenarios and asked the members to classify whether the death was due wholly or in part to caregiver neglect. According to a study abstract, respondents identified neglect as a contributing factor in 90 percent of the scenarios, and determined the caregiver was definitely responsible for the child’s death in 40 percent of the cases.

According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year approximately 7.1 million children younger than 15 make injury-related visits to emergency departments. Researchers suggested most of these injuries are due to unintentional injuries such as burns, suffocation or ingestion of harmful substances, caused by inadequate supervision.

The study was published in the journal Injury Prevention.