Accidents kill 830,000 children annually

Written by Andrew Traub

December 15, 2008

Around the globe, accidents kill 830,000 children annually – equivalent to all the children in Chicago, according to a report issued by the World Health Organization and UNICEF.

The report, the first to collect all known data on child injuries worldwide, makes broad estimates because many poor countries gather few health statistics, and many children are hurt or killed without ever seeing a doctor.

Though 95 percent of all injuries to children occur in poor and middle-income countries, injuries account for 40 percent of all child deaths in rich ones.

By teen years, road injuries become major killers in poor countries as in rich ones.  In the 15 to 19 age group, for example, the leading cause of death is traffic accidents.

In the United States, accidents kill 12,175 children a year – more than all diseases combined, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control.  Car crashes were the leading cause in the U.S., except for children age 4 or less.

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