The Cassidy Law Firm Blog

Monday, January 28, 2019

Accidents Far Outweigh Disease as Cause of Childhood Deaths

How can I protect my child against the top causes of accidental injuries and deaths?

America’s children are now six times more at risk of dying due to preventable and accidental injuries than disease, according to a new report published by the New England Journal of Medicine.  The study used data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which tracks cause of death data contained within death certificates.  Our Shrewsbury, New Jersey personal injury lawyers discuss the top causes of death among children today and how you can protect your child below.

Car Accidents and Firearm Wounds Top Causes of Death in Kids 

The New England Journal of Medicine found that more than 60 percent of deaths among one to nineteen year-olds were caused by car accidents or gunshot wounds.  Gunshot wounds were inflicted due to unintentional injury, suicide, and murder.  Drug overdoses further rose among the most common causes of childhood deaths, now ranked the sixth leading cause of death.  These deaths stem largely from the opioid epidemic. 

Researchers found that while car accidents have generally declined since 2007 due to improved vehicle safety standards, accident rates hiked higher after 2013.  The rise in accidents, even at a time when cars are becoming all the safer, is thought to be linked to distracted drivers.  Distracted driving rates have catapulted in recent years, with today’s drivers glued to their cell phones. Parents and teen drivers are at serious risk of accidental injury or death if they drive while talking or texting.
The parents of minor children can take steps to protect their children from accidental deaths. For starters, parents can reduce the risk of car accident deaths, which remains the number one cause of death, by making sure their child uses an approved car or booster seat.  Young children need to be secured with a car or booster seat, dependent upon their height and weight.  Older children must be taught to use a seatbelt each and every time they get in the car.  As you drive your children, always be alert and abide by safety rules.  If you have a teen driver, set strict rules about no driving with a cell phone or friends.

Other causes of death can be more difficult to ward against, but there are things you can do.  Ensure any firearm in the home is in a locked safe, preferably with a fingerprint lock, so that no child can access it.  Pay close attention to your teen and get him or her help should you notice signs of depression or drug abuse.

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