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Notice to Readers: Publication of World Report on Child Injury Prevention

Child injuries are a growing global public health problem. Worldwide each year, approximately 10--30 million persons aged <18 years are injured, and 875,000 die from their injuries (1,2). Moreover, 95% of these injuries occur in low- and middle-income countries (1). In 2005, the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) called for an expanded global effort to prevent child injury (2).

On December 10, 2008, WHO and UNICEF released their World Report on Child Injury Prevention. The report examines the five major mechanisms of child injuries: road traffic injuries, drownings, burns, falls, and poisonings (3). Each mechanism is reviewed according to its epidemiology, known risk factors, existing interventions and their effectiveness, and strategies to prevent or manage the particular type of injury. The report documents what is known about child and adolescent injuries worldwide and how these injuries can be prevented.

In the United States each year, approximately 12,000 deaths and an estimated 9.2 million nonfatal unintentional injuries are reported among persons aged <19 years (4); unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death among those aged 1--19 years (4,5). Creating a safe environment, adopting and enforcing stringent safety laws, improving product safety, educating parents, and encouraging behavior change are all important in the prevention of injuries in children. Information regarding U.S. data and efforts to prevent child injuries, including the CDC Childhood Injury Report, is available at http://www.cdc.gov/safechild. Other tools at this site include fact sheets, podcasts, and state-specific data on the leading causes of child and adolescent injury, and how these injuries can be prevented.

References

  1. Mock C, Peden M, Hyder AA, Butchart A, Krug E. Child injuries and violence: the new challenge for child health. Bull World Health Organ 2008;86:420.
  2. World Health Organization, United Nations Children's Fund. Child and adolescent injury prevention: a global call to action. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, United Nations Children's Fund; 2005. Available at http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2005/9241593415_eng.pdf.
  3. World Health Organization, United Nations Children's Fund. World report on child injury prevention. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, United Nations Children's Fund; 2008. Available at http://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/child/injury/world_report/en/index.html.
  4. CDC. CDC childhood injury report: patterns of unintentional injuries among 0--19 year olds in the United States, 2000--2006. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2008.
  5. CDC. Fatal injuries among children by race and ethnicity---United States, 1999--2002. MMWR 2007;56(No. SS-5).



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