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Childhood Wellness

From Sleep to Sports: How to Protect Your Child From Injuries

Photo: Courtesy of Caroline Hernandez

Though we’ve made significant progress over the past several decades, more work remains.

  • Injury is the number one cause of death in children 1-19 years old.
  • For every child who dies as a result of being injured, 23 are hospitalized and 1,186 are treated in an emergency department.
  • The estimated annual cost of unintentional child injuries is nearly $25.9 billion.

To help ensure that preventing child injuries becomes the norm, addressing two specific areas: motor vehicle safety and youth-sports concussions safety.

Motor vehicle safety

Motor vehicle injuries are a leading cause of death among children, but you can protect your kids. Buckling them in age- and size-appropriate car seats, boosters and seat belts reduces serious and fatal injuries in crashes by more than half.

If you have a teenage driver, take advantage of resources that spell out concrete ways to help your teen stay safe on the road. And of course, everyone should buckle up on every trip, since unrestrained passengers can injure themselves and others during a crash.

Heads up

Sports are a great way for kids to stay fit and learn important life skills. Still, take the time to ensure your community’s coaches, parents, health care providers and school professionals are equipped to support promote a culture of concussion safety. With your help, we can prevent unintentional child injuries, taking a step toward ensuring all Americans live to their full potential.

Grant T. Baldwin, Ph.D., MPH, Director, Division, Unintentional Injury Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (CDC), [email protected]

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