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Injuries kill 830'000 children every year. WHO and UNICEF launched the World report on child injury prevention

11 December, 2008. GENEVA/HANOI/NEW YORK/KYIV – More than 2,000 children die every day as a result of an unintentional, or accidental injury, according to a new report World report on child injury prevention produced by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF. The report, developed with the support of nearly 200 injury prevention experts from around the world, is intended to draw attention to child unintentional injuries, a significant but long neglected public health and development concern.

Injuries - from road traffic crashes, drowning, falls, burns, poisoning and other causes - kill around 830 000 children every year. They are the leading cause of death for children after the age of nine years. Every year tens of millions of children worldwide are taken to hospitals with injuries that may leave them with lifelong disabilities.
Around 95% of child injuries occur in low- and middle-income countries. Children in poorer communities in all countries are at increased risk of injury as they are more likely to be exposed to hazardous environments and are less likely to benefit from prevention programmes. In addition they often lack access to good quality trauma care and rehabilitation services.

The report finds that the top five causes of injury deaths are: 

  1. Road crashes: They kill 260,000 children a year and injure about 10 million. They are the leading cause of death among 10-19 year olds and a leading cause of child disability.
  2. Drowning: It kills more than 175,000 children a year. Every year, up to 3 million children survive a drowning incident. Due to brain damage in some survivors, non-fatal drowning has the highest average lifetime health and economic impact of any injury type.
  3. Burns: Fire-related burns kill nearly 96,000 children a year and the death rate is eleven times higher in low- and middle-income countries than in high-income countries.
  4. Falls: Nearly 47,000 children fall to their deaths every year, but hundreds of thousands more sustain less serious injuries from a fall.
  5. Poisoning: More than 45,000 children die each year from unintended poisoning.
    The World Report on Child Injury Prevention provides the first comprehensive global assessment of childhood unintentional injuries and prescribes measures to prevent them. It concludes that if proven prevention measures were adopted everywhere at least 1,000 children’s lives could be saved every day.

Full text of the World report on child injury prevention 

For further information, please contact:
Veronika Vashchenko, Communication Officer, UNICEF Ukraine



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