According to a study conducted by the Center for Disease Control, between 2013 and 2016 the death rate for kids aged 10 to 19 rose by 12%. Previously, the death rate had been in decline since 1999. Injuries accounted for 70% of all the deaths in 2016 in this age group, more than natural causes such as cancer and heart disease. The injuries encompassed unintentional, suicide and homicide injuries. All three categories rose.
Unintentional injuries and accidents are the leading cause of injury deaths for these kids. That category increased by 13% between 2013 and 2016, after declining by 49% between 1999 and 2013. The majority of these injuries were traffic fatalities and accounted for 62% of unintentional injury accidents, followed by poisoning and drowning cases.
According to Dr. Gary Smith, the president of the Child Injury Prevention Alliance, these study results show is that there is a lack of attention to injury prevention in the recent years. He argues that there needs to be a new public health approach to correct the growing problem of child injuries.
Parents can help in this effort by talking to their kids about safety before and during their teen years. They can start by telling their kids why they should wear a seat belt every time they are in the car. Don’t ever text or use social media when you start to drive, and if you are in a car with someone doing it, ask them to stop. It is also important for parents to model these safety habits, as their children will recognize and grasp actions more than words alone.
Help us lower the rate of childhood injury deaths and become a part of the solution