Over the last 20 years, child deaths from communicable diseases like respiratory infections, diarrheal disease and neonatal disorders have decreased significantly, yet deaths from childhood injuries have remained steady. The global burden of disease studies (GBD) suggest that of the estimated 5.1 million deaths due to injuries in 2010, 12% are attributed to children ages 1-19 years. Despite these high numbers, childhood unintentional injuries have not received much attention.

In a recent publication, JH-IIRU assistant scientist, Olakunle Alonge, MD, PhD, MPH and director, Adnan Hyder, MD, MPH, PhD, use data from GBD 2010 to describe the burden of unintentional childhood injuries, provide an overview of intervention options and examine the policy framework for reducing the burden, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where the rate of injuries is disproportionately high.

“Reducing the global burden of childhood unintentional injuries,” published in the November 2013 issue of the Archives of Disease in Childhood, outlines the most common causes of death, including road traffic injuries, drowning and burns, and suggests possible solutions to these childhood injuries. Potential interventions include road traffic injury preventions, such as child restraints and helmet use that have been found effective in high income countries (HICs); barrier methods for drowning prevention, such as playpens fence construction, as well as other engineering methods to reduce water hazards; and safer stoves, lamps and lighting sources as possible short-term solutions for burn injuries.

The paper emphasizes the need for multi-sector cooperation and collaboration, including disciplines of law, engineering, medicine and social sciences for solutions to be truly effective.

To read the entire paper, click here