CDC: U.S. Children Very Safe, But Still Some Concerns

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Good news from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) today indicating that our children are more safe than ever before, but indications are that unintentional injuries from poisoning and suffocation are actually on the rise in children.

Timothy W. Martin from the Wall Street Journal’s blog on health went on to talk about the report:

The rate of death from unintentional injuries—the leading cause for youths between the ages of 1 and 19—dropped 29% from 2000 to 2009, according to data released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The total number of deaths fell during the same time frame, dropping from about 12,400 in 2000 to around 9,100 in 2009.

The numbers don’t include youth deaths from violence.

“Everyone has a role in keeping our kids safe,” Julie Gilchrist, a medical epidemiologist in the CDC’s Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, told reporters in a teleconference.

Broader use of child-safety and booster seats, as well as tougher laws limiting when teenagers can get driver’s licenses helped propel lower rates of unintentional-injury deaths caused by car accidents, Ileana Arias, a principal deputy director at the CDC, told reporters.

The number of youth deaths caused by motor-vehicle accidents dropped 41% in the decade, falling from 7,497 in 2000 to 4,564 in 2009.

Over the past decade, deaths from drowning, falls and fires or burns also showed declines. “Most of these events are predictable and preventable,” Arias said.

But suffocation and poisoning deaths rose.

Unintentional infant suffocation deaths increased 54% to 1,160 in 2009, rising from 2000’s 864. Poisoning death rates rose 91% among people ages 15 to 19, a byproduct of rising prescription-drug abuse among teens who either obtain the pills illegally or swipe them from medicine cabinets of their parents or others, Gilchrist said. Source

Overall, these are really good statistics and point to real improvements in how parents are taking safety into their own hands. The most telling of these stats is the number of child related deaths attributed to vehicular accidents, which dropped by a huge amount (41%) over the past 10-years. This surely has a lot to do with seat belt laws, improvements in car seat construction, continued emphasis on safety by automobile manufacturers and parents doing the right thing when it comes to safety while driving.

Although there were some really good improvements in these statistics there are still concerns when it comes to poisoning in children, mainly related to rising prescription drug use in our communities. That is a much larger issue that needs attention and control but from a basic poison safety level, Dr. Jennifer Lowry, MD provides some simple steps and tips on how to prevent a potential poisoning in your home.

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