Journal Issue: Low Birth Weight Volume 5 Number 1 Spring 1995
Unintentional injuries, or injuries that occur without specific intent of harm, are a leading cause of death and disability for children in the United States. Each year, approximately 3,600 children die, 20,000 children become permanently disabled, 550,000 children are hospitalized, and 15 million children visit the emergency room because of unintentional injuries.1,2 The implications of these injuries for children and their families are large. Consequences can include time lost from school, decreased ability to participate in normal activities, or early loss of life.
Fortunately, many childhood unintentional injuries are preventable using fairly simple strategies that have been proven to work.3 Understanding sources of injury data and how they fit in a larger context is necessary for implementing and evaluating any prevention program. This Child Indicators defines unintentional injuries and discusses sources of information on mortality and morbidity resulting from them. It also considers issues surrounding interpretation of unintentional injury data, specifically for motor vehicle crashes, the leading cause of death for young children in this country.