Parents have enough to worry about to ensure their children grow up in a safe and peaceful world. The daily news shifts from one sensational topic to the next, capturing our focus and emotions. However, what actually poses the greatest threat to our children’s safety, and what can we do about it?
The Reality of Child Injury
Child injuries are a global public health problem, and estimates are that over 630,000 children under the age of 15 yearly are killed worldwide by an injury. In the United States, injury is the leading cause of death in children and young adults, yet most are preventable. Approximately 12,000 children and young adults, ages 1 to 19 years, die from unintentional injuries each year in America.
Causes of Unintentional Child Injury
In the United States, the five most important causes of unintentional injury are road traffic injuries, drowning, burns, falls, and poisoning.
- Falls are the leading cause of nonfatal injury for children. Children ages 19 and under account for about 8,000 fall-related visits to hospital emergency rooms every day.
- Each year about 100 children are killed and 254,000 are injured as a result of bicycle-related accidents.
- Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children ages 1 to 4. The majority of drownings and near-drownings occur in residential swimming pools and in open water sites. However, drowning can occur in as little as one inch of water.
- Airway obstruction (suffocation) is the leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among infants under age 1.
Many injuries to children are the result of negligence – inside the home and out. Children and teenagers are at risk of serious injuries in connection with bus accidents, swimming accidents, fireworks or other explosives, defective toys, poisonings from household products, car accidents, playground incidents, and animal attacks.
Child Injuries Outside the Home
Parents are diligent in safeguarding their children from the potential harms of this world. Yet outside their care, incidents do occur that often need to be addressed if unable to be prevented.
- Physical Abuse by a coach, teacher, clergy or daycare provider
- Sexual Abuse
- Auto Accidents
- Playground Injuries
- School Bus Injuries
- Daycare Injuries
- Injuries at School
- Traumatic Brain Injury
If a child is seriously hurt, then there may be significant medical bills, follow-up care, and in some instances, a need for lifelong care. When disabled, a child may not be able to earn a living upon reaching adulthood. Less common, but also actionable, are injuries resulting from intentional physical or sexual abuse by a caregiver. If you need help assessing what to do legally in such an unimaginable situation, contact a law office that specializes in personal injury.