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Child Injury

April 2012


A person's silhouette

Infant1 Child

Every hour, one child dies from an injury.

Woman shape1 in 5

About 1 in 5 child deaths is due to injury.

Shield4 Seconds

Every 4 seconds, a child is treated for an injury in an emergency department.

Child injuries* are preventable, yet more than 9,000 children died from injuries in the US in 2009. Car crashes, suffocation, drowning, poisoning, fires, and falls are some of the most common ways children are hurt or killed. The number of children dying from injury dropped nearly 30% over the last decade. However, injury is still the number 1 cause of death among children. More can be done to keep our children safe.

* 'Child injuries' refers to unintentional injuries that occur among children and teens 0-19 years.

Issue Details


Injury: The #1 killer of children U.S.

Injuries are the #1 cause of death among children. Car crashes, suffocation, drowning, poisoning, fires, and falls are some of the most common causes of injury. Learn how you can help save lives and prevent these injuries.

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What Can Be Done

Icon: US governmentStates and communities can:

  • Align efforts with the National Action Plan for Child Injury Prevention, released in 2012 by CDC and more than 60 partner organizations. Visit
  • Strengthen data collection on child injury to identify problems and track progress.
  • Use strategies shown to reduce injuries such as graduated driver licenses, learn-to-swim programs, and prescription drug monitoring programs.
  • Improve access to poison control centers, trauma center care, and preventive services (such as CPR/first aid training).

Icon: Health care systemsHealth care systems can:

  • Use technology, such as electronic medical records, to improve the speed and quality of care for injured children, and to monitor the number and severity of injuries.
  • Include child safety education for new parents and at all pediatric visits.

EmployerEmployers can:

  • Protect all employees, including youth, from workplace injuries by complying with existing safety standards and regulations.
  • Provide proper safety training, education, and protective equipment for each job task.

Icon: Man and womanEveryone can:

  • Take steps to prevent child injury where you live, work, and play.
  • Be a good role model—wear a seat belt, use a helmet, and follow other safety tips.
  • Learn more about protecting the ones you love at

Science Behind the Issue

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  • Page last reviewed: April 16, 2012
  • Page last updated: April 16, 2012 The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
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