Accidents and Children

The New York Times reports on a new World Health Organization and UNICEF report that found that childhood accidents account for approximately 830,000 deaths annually around the world. Just an incredible statistic. Injury accidents are to blame for 40% of childhood deaths in developing countries. Car crashes were the leading cause of death for children under 5. A lens to how needless these deaths are: 5,000 children die from drinking the kerosene their parents use for cooking, a problem easily remedied with childproof caps.

Obviously, the United States is not immune, either. A CDC study released in conjunction with this report determined that accidents kill over 12,000 children in the United States each year.

The problem internationally is obviously harder for us to solve. Domestically, the CDC suggests three things: (1) graduated driver’s license laws, forbidding teenagers to drive at night or with teenage passengers (which may be a bit of a mixed bag), (2) to enforce seat-belt laws on teenagers, and (3) laws requiring children younger than 8 years-old to ride in booster seats.
Sometimes, statistics are so overwhelming we chose to ignore them.