The numbers speak for themselves.
You may be surprised to know that more children die of injury than of cancer and asthma combined. (1)
Each year, over 150 Australian children (aged 0-14 years) are killed and over 68,000 hospitalised as a result of unintentional injuries (2,3)– the kind often referred to as accidents. Many of these are easily prevented by simple precautionary measures.
Unintentional injuries account for about 88% of all injury related deaths (4) in children and about 97% of all injury related hospitalisations (5).
Causes of child injury include:
Falls – from things such as nursery furniture and equipment (e.g. prams, high chairs, change tables), household furniture (e.g. cots, beds, chairs), playground equipment and wheeled devices (e.g. bikes, scooters).
Hit/Struck/Crush – finger jambs in doors and household objects such as televisions and bookcases falling on top of children.
Transport – children involved in motor vehicle incidents, pedestrian incidents and driveway runovers.
Cutting/Piercing – cuts from glass and other sharp household items (e.g. knives, scissors).
Burns and Scalds – from hot tap water, hot beverages such as tea and coffee and hot food including soup and 2-minute noodles.
Drowning and non–fatal drowning events – commonly in the backyard swimming pool
Poisoning – from common medications such as paracetamol, household cleaners (e.g. bleach, dishwashing detergent, toilet bowl cleaners).
- Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006c, Causes of Death, 2004, cat no. 3303.0, ABS, Canberra.
- Mitchell R, Curtis K, Foster K. A 10-year review of the characteristics and health outcomes of injury-related hospitalisations of children in Australia. Day of Difference Foundation. University of Sydney. 5th May 2017.
- Adams S, Elkington J, MacKay JM, Zwi K, O’Sullivan M, Vincenten J, Brussoni M, Towner E, Brown J. Child Safety Good Practice Guide: Good investments in unintentional child injury prevention and safety promotion. Sydney: Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network, 2016.
- AIHW: Henley G and Harrison JE (2009). Injury deaths, Australia 2004–05. Injury research and statistics series no 51. (Cat. no. INJCAT 127). Adelaide: AIHW.
- AIHW: Kreisfeld R & Harrison JE 2010. Hospital separations due to injury and poisoning 2005–06. Injury research and statistics series no. 55. Cat. no. INJCAT 131. Canberra: AIHW.