Injury is a major public health problem for children. Data to assess the magnitude of the problem are of variable quality and in need of continuous improvement, but it is clear that special risks exist for certain subgroups of the population, including different risks by ethnic group, age, and gender. It is important to examine data from multiple sources to understand the problem, including information about deaths as well as injuries resulting in hospitalization or outpatient (e.g., emergency department) care. Other types of injuries are not as easily captured in these data systems and require efforts to estimate risks through other means—for example, collecting data from social services or through research surveys about child abuse, from schools about sports injury, or from youth about employment-related injuries.
Research tracking the long-term effects of different types of injury suggests that the developmental outcomes of more severe injuries may be profound.
Injuries are not accidents. Causes can be identified and preventive strategies developed. There are numerous interventions to choose from in addressing prevention of traumatic injuries, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.
See also: MOTOR DEVELOPMENT
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Carol W. Runyan
Janet Abboud Dal Santo
Kristen L. Kucera