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Child Injury
Child Injury


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Injuries take a significant toll on the young.

Injuries are a public health problem for all ages in Ohio. They are the leading cause of death for Ohioans ages 1 to 34 and the fifth-leading cause of death overall.  Injuries, including suicide and homicide, cause more deaths of children and young adults from ages 1 through 34 than all other causes combined, including heart disease, stroke and cancer.


Regardless of how the problem is measured, injury rises to the top of public health threats to children:

  • Child Injury2Every day in the U.S., more than 28,000 youth ages 19 years and younger are injured seriously enough to require medical treatment in an emergency department, totaling more than 10 million annually.
  • Each year in the United States, more than 17,000 youth ages 19 years and younger will die as a result of injury (22.5 per 100,000). More than 630 will die in Ohio (20.0 per 100,000).
  • Injuries have been the leading cause of death in children for nearly 40 years.
  • One in four children will suffer an injury during the next year that will require medical attention.
  • It is estimated that as many as 90 percent of unintentional injuries can be prevented.

Children are not small adults.

They are developmentally, anatomically and physiologically different than adults. These differences place them at risk for injury and affect the severity of the injury. In addition, the developmental and cognitive abilities of children play a significant role in their vulnerability to injury. Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop said on the subject of childhood injury, “If some infectious disease came along that affected one out of every four children in the United States, there would be a huge public outcry and we would be told to spare no expense to find the cure – and to be quick about it.”

Click on the links below for information on specific injury topics impacting young Ohioans:


What is being done to address the issue? 


The Child Injury Action Group (CIAG) is a multidisciplinary action group of the Ohio Injury Prevention Partnership (OIPP) devoted to the reduction of injury among Ohio's children. The CIAG has prioritized the following focus areas to address in its five-year strategic plan:

    • Teen Driving Safety
    • Bicycle and Wheeled Sports Helmets
    • Infant Sleep-related Suffocation
    • Sports-related Traumatic Brain Injury
    • Child Passenger Safety Law Review/Revision

What is ODH doing to address these issues?

Teen Driving Safety:  The ODH Violence and Injury Prevention Program (VIPP) conducted a survey of Ohioan's related to motor vehicle safety.  Many of these questions focused on teen driver safety and the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) law.  Read the survey results here.

Bicycle and Wheeled Sports Helmets:  In partnership with the OIPP, the VIPP sponsored the development of a toolkit for local communities to educate about the importance of bicycle helmets in preventing injury to children. Download the toolkit here

Infant Safe Sleep:  ODH is implementing a statewide infant safe sleep campaign to ensure that every infant in Ohio is sleeping safe and sound.  Learn about the ABC's of safe sleep at: www.safesleep.ohio.gov. 

Youth Sports Concussion:  ODH is responsible for assisting with implementation of Ohio's Sports Concussion/Return to Play Law.  Learn about the law here.

Child Passenger Safety:  ODH's child passenger safety (CPS) program, Ohio Buckles Buckeyes (OBB), provides child safety seats and booster seats to eligible low income families in all Ohio counties.

With funding from the CDC's Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant, the ODH VIPP also provides limited grant funding to local agencies to assist in the prevention of child injury.