Accidental childhood injury death rate is down by 45 percent since 1987
Yet preventable injuries are still the leading cause of death for kids
(NNA)This year marks the 20th anniversary of Safe Kids Worldwide, and the question remains: Have injury prevention efforts made a difference in the lives of American children? The answer is a resounding "YES." Over the past 20 years, the accidental injury death rate among kids under 14 has fallen by 45 percent.
"We have thousands of reasons to celebrate this year one for every single American child that was saved from a serious or fatal injury," said Martin R. Eichelberger, M.D., founder and director of Safe Kids Worldwide. "The major drop in injury rates is proof that the care that American parents take with their most beloved possessions has paid off."
Yet despite this great news, accidental injury remains the leading cause of death for children ages one to 14. In 2005, approximately 4,000 children in this age range died and another 6 million were hospitalized because of accidental injuries.
Some of these kinds of injuries severe fire or scald burns often involving repeated skin grafts, head and brain injuries, as well as internal organ damage can last a lifetime. But far too few parents understand the real dangers.
A recent Safe Kids USA report shows that only 58 percent of parents with children 14 and under list accidental injury as a major concern for their children. They are showing even less concern than 20 years ago as seen by the seven percentage point drop since 1987 in the number of parents listing accidental injury as a major concern.
"Safe Kids USA is calling on the federal government to create a national strategy to reduce the number of preventable injuries to our children," added Dr. Eichelberger. "From Capitol Hill all the way to local communities, we need to act together to make our neighborhoods and homes safer places for children to live and play."
Safe Kids Week 2008, celebrating 20 years of preventing accidental injuries, runs from April 26-May 4 and is sponsored by Johnson & Johnson. To learn more, visit www.usa.safekids.org.
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