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January 2, 1954


JAMA. 1954;154(1):61-62. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.02940350063018

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A notable decrease in infant mortality and in the death rate from childhood diseases has been brought about by the nation's physicians during the last half century. However, despite the efforts put forth by the medical profession to protect the country's future citizens, childhood mortality continues high because of accidents—accidents that, for the most part, are preventable. The accident death rate among children is being reduced only about one-third as fast as the rate for death by disease. Preventable accidents are the leading cause of death in the age group of 1 to 14 years, killing more children than the combined mortality of the next six causes of death— pneumonia, congenital defects, cancer, tuberculosis, leukemia, and heart disease—and killing many, many more children than poliomyelitis.

According to a recent report of the Children's Bureau of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, the 1949 accident death rate of children under

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