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Study examines burden of unintentional injuries to kids

Friday October 26, 2012
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Each year from 2000 through 2009, an average of 890 years of potential life were lost because of unintentional injuries for every 100,000 children and adolescents ages 0 to 19, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Years of Potential Life Lost, a summary measure of early death, represents the total number of years of life lost to various conditions before the expected age of death, which was 75 for the purposes of the study.

The article provides state data and, the researchers said, is the first of its kind to find that the burden of unintentional injuries was much higher among males, adolescents ages 15 to 19 and American Indian/Alaska Native children, and among children in two sets of adjacent states: Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama; and Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota.

Effective interventions to prevent unintentional injury deaths for children include using occupant restraints, wearing bicycle and motorcycle helmets, reducing drinking and driving, strengthening graduated driver licensing laws, using safety equipment during sports participation, requiring four-sided residential pool fencing and safe sleep practices for infants.

"Implementing these strategies widely can reduce the burden of injuries" to those ages 0 to 19, the authors wrote.

The report appeared in the Oct. 19 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. To read it, visit www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6141a2.htm?s_cid=mm6141a2_w.

For the CDCís National Action Plan for Child Injury Prevention, visit www.cdc.gov/safechild/nap/.


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