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Press Release

For Immediate Release: December 10, 2008
Contact: CDC Injury Center Media Relations
(770) 488-4902

New CDC Report Finds Motor Vehicles and Falls are Causes of Most Child and Teen Injuries and Deaths in the United States

An estimated 55 million children and teens from birth to age 19 were treated in emergency departments for unintentional injuries from 2001 to 2006, according to a new report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The report also notes that between 2000 and 2005, unintentional injuries resulted in 73,052 deaths among children and teens. Falls caused most non-fatal injuries (about 2.8 million each year), while most deaths were transportation-related (about 8,000 deaths each year involved a motor vehicle occupant, pedestrian or pedal cyclist).

According to the report, every year, an estimated 9.2 million children visited emergency departments for unintentional injuries. Falls were associated with over half of the nonfatal injuries involving children less than one year, while transportation-related injuries and deaths were highest among children 15 to 19 years of age. Overall, males were almost twice as likely to die as a result of unintentional injuries than females.

To help parents and other adults prevent child injuries, CDC is also launching the "Protect the Ones You Love" initiative. More about this initiative can be found at

"Injury risks change as our children grow and we want them to be appropriately protected as they develop," said Dr. Ileana Arias, Director of CDC's Injury Center. "We encourage parents to be vigilant and to understand that there are proven ways to help reduce injuries at each life stage."

Other notable findings in the CDC report include:

  • The highest fatality rates were among occupants of motor vehicles;
  • Drowning was the leading cause of unintentional injury death for children ages one to four. For those ages 5 to 19, most injury deaths were due to being an occupant in a motor vehicle crash; and
  • Children ages one to four also had the highest nonfatal injury rates due to poisoning and falls.

CDC's report of national and state information on the leading causes of childhood injury is being released to coincide with the World Health Organization's (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund's (UNICEF) launch of the 2008 World Report on Child Injury Prevention. The World Report provides a global perspective of child injury and prevention.

The full report, "CDC Childhood Injury Report: Patterns of Unintentional Injuries among 0-19 Year Olds in the United States, 2000-2006," is available at

Editor's Note: News media may contact CDC Media Relations at (404) 639-3286 to receive an embargoed PDF copy of the report. The report link above will not be live until December 10, 2008.


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