Every day in the United States, two dozen children die from an injury that was not intended. Such tragedy often leaves families broken apart and changes the lives of those left behind. Injury deaths, however, are only part of the picture. Each year, millions of children in the United States are injured and live with the consequences of those injuries. These children may face disability and chronic pain that limit their ability to perform age-appropriate everyday activities over their lifetime.
These deaths and injuries need not occur because they often result from predictable events. The good news is that we have solutions that work to prevent child injury. The challenge is to apply what we know and work together to prevent these unnecessary tragedies to children, families, and communities.
To help address this challenge, we introduce the National Action Plan for Child Injury Prevention. It complements reports about child injury from the World Health Organization/UNICEF and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention1, 2, 3 and is the next logical step to address this challenge in the United States.
This plan is an overarching framework to guide the actions of those responsible for the health and safety of children and adolescents, including federal, state, and local agencies, philanthropies, and non-governmental organizations. Additional stakeholders include schools, child care centers, insurers, businesses, the media, medical institutions, policymakers and health care providers. Child injury prevention is achievable. Although the United States has seen declines in many injury causes over the past 25 years, more progress is needed.
This plan is intended to spark action across the nation in many areas to help children grow and thrive without injuries. Safety should be a human right. Let us redouble our efforts to achieve this vision.
Grant T. Baldwin, PhD, MPH
Director, Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention
National Center for Injury Prevention and Control
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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