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June 1990

Childhood Injuries in the United States: Mortality, Morbidity, and Cost

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Maternal and Child Health, Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene, Baltimore, Md (Dr Guyer); and the Injury Prevention Center, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Mass (Dr Ellers).

Am J Dis Child. 1990;144(6):649-652. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1990.02150300047016

• National estimates of the mortality, morbidity, and cost of childhood injuries are presented by specific causes. Motor vehicle–related inuries, homicide, and suicide are the leading causes of childhood injury deaths. Falls and sports-related injuries are the leading causes of hospitalizations and emergency department visits. We estimate that unintentional childhood injuries cost the nation $7.5 billion in 1982. The highest direct costs per year for unintentional injuries are attributable to falls, sports, and motor vehicle occupant injuries, while the highest indirect costs are related to motor vehicle occupant injuries, pedestrian injuries, and drowning. Injury accounts for 78% of the total fatalities among late adolescents (age 15 to 19 years), the pediatric age group at highest risk for injury mortality. A stronger federal and state commitment is needed to prevent childhood injury.

(AJDC. 1990;144:649-652)

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