The Ohio Child Injury Prevention Program at the Ohio Department of Health is focused on preventable injuries for Ohioans ages 0-18 years related to occupant protection (car/booster seats, teen driving), concussions (related to sports and safe active transportation), child maltreatment and youth suicide.
Injuries are a public health problem for all ages in Ohio. They are the leading cause of death for Ohioans ages 1 to 44 years and the third leading cause of death overall. Injuries, including suicide and homicide, cause more deaths of children and young adults from ages 1 through 34 years 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:
Every day in the United States, 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.
During the next year, one in four children will suffer an injury 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.”