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The Most Common Causes Of Child Injury

No one wants to think about their child being injured or harmed in any way. However, accidents and injury do happen to children every day. By knowing a few of the most common injuries that children face, you may be better prepared to protect your own child from harm.

Auto-related Injuries

The fatal crash rate per mile driven for 16 to 19 year-olds is four to six times the risk for older drivers that are aged 30 to 59 years old, and the fatal crash risk is highest at age 16 years.

In fact, auto-related injuries are the leading cause of death for U.S. children aged 5–19 years. These injuries account for 24 percent of deaths from all causes in this age group and for most unintentional injury-related deaths. In addition, 514,604 children were treated in hospital EDs in 2009 for nonfatal injuries from auto crashes. These children sustained injuries as motor vehicle occupants, bicyclists, motorcycle riders, and pedestrians.

Teen drivers are at particular risk for motor vehicle-related injury. Although they drive less than most others, they are involved in a disproportionately higher number of crashes. Among the biggest risk factors for a teen crash are inexperience, driving with other teen passengers, driving at night, and even driving under the influence.


Unintentional suffocation is a leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injury among infants and young children. More than three-quarters of injury deaths among those younger than 1 year old are due to suffocation. Differences between deaths attributed to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and unintentional suffocation are not always clear.

The number of nonfatal suffocation and choking incidents among children is difficult to estimate because many of these events are not reported. Young children are more likely than adults or older children to choke because their airways are narrower, their chewing and swallowing coordination is not fully developed, and they often put non-food items in their mouths.


Drowning is a leading cause of unintentional injury death among all age groups of children, but especially among those aged 1–4 years. The location of drowning varies based on the age of the child. Infants tend to drown in bathtubs, children aged 1–4 years in swimming pools, and older children in natural bodies of water such as ponds, lakes, and rivers.


In 2009, 824 U.S. children died and an additional 116,000 were treated in hospital EDs due to poisoning. In 2008, U.S. poison control centers received more than 1.6 million calls for children younger than 20 years of age. Nearly 80 percent of these calls were for children younger than 5 years old. Young children are especially at risk for unintentional exposure to prescription and over-the-counter medications.

The number of poisoning deaths among children has doubled since 2000, with almost all of the additional deaths occurring among adolescents. For adolescents 15–19 years of age, poisoning was second only to auto vehicle crashes as a cause of unintentional injury death.

Fire and Burns

Fire- and burn-related injuries are a common cause of unintentional injury death among children of all ages. In 2009, almost 119,000 U.S. children were injured severely enough due to unintentional fires and burns that they had to visit an ED. Fire and burn injury rates are highest among young children because of their natural curiosity, impulsiveness, and lack of experience in assessing danger and risk. In addition, young children cannot typically escape from a residential fire on their own and must rely on others for rescue.


Falls are the leading cause of child injury-related ED visits, accounting for more than 2.8 million emergency department visits in 2009 and about 150 child deaths per year. The majority of fall-related injuries occur at home. Children commonly fall from many locations, including windows and structures, playground equipment, and bunk beds.

Attorney David Goldman has a strong belief that everyone should be treated fairly and those with the means should do what they can to bring justice in all areas of our society. That belief has led him to help Florida's injured from being taken advantage of by corporations and insurance companies. Since 1989 David Goldman has been fighting for the rights of Floridians both as an attorney and by personally supporting our community.

The Most Common Causes Of Child Injury

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

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