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Injuries to Minors and Children – What Are the Facts?

Children are at risk in the US. The statistics gathered each year about injuries to minors and children would give any parent pause. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 70 teens die from work injuries each year and about 77,000 are taken to a hospital emergency room because of workplace-related injuries each year.

Work is not the only hazard to minors. The CDC reports that 906,000 children in the United States were maltreated in 2002. The same source reported that in 2004 1,638 children died as in car accidents, and approximately 214,000 were injured in automobile accidents. The CDC also reports that children 14 years and younger account for 45% of all fireworks-relate injuries each year.

Even playtime is not without its hazards: The CDC reports that each year 200 000 children 14 years of age or younger are treated in hospital for injuries incurred on the playground. The CDC reports that children 4 and under are at the highest risk for injury in fires. Children 14 years of age and younger are also at risk for brain injury, according to the same source. Each year, 2,685 children die from brain injuries, 37,000 are hospitalized for brain injuries and 435,000 visit emergency departments each year due to head trauma.

The CDC reports that many children each year receive medical treatment for near-drowning, which can result in serious injury. In 2004, over 750,000 youth between the ages of 10 and 24 needed to visit emergency departments because of violence that lead to injury.

The CDC publishes a number of brochures and informative papers about preventing childhood injuries. Among these brochures, a common theme emerges: awareness and monitoring can go a long way towards preventing injuries to minors. Adults responsible for children can ensure that younger children are always supervised at play. Simple safety devices – such as car seats or seatbelts in cars and safety jackets on boats – can help prevent injury in the case of an accident. Being aware of a child’s habits and friends can help prevent injury due to violence or bullying. Parents can also be aware of any potential dangers in the home – dangers such as poisonous chemicals in household products or sharp surfaces – and can either remove those dangers or take steps to ensure that children in the home are not affected by the dangers.