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- Definition: Number of hospitalizations due to non-fatal injuries among children/youth ages 0-20.Number of hospitalizations due to non-fatal injuries per 100,000 children/youth ages 0-20.
- Data Source: California Dept. of Public Health, Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, Patient Discharge Data; California Dept. of Finance, Race/Ethnic Population with Age and Sex Detail, 1990-1999, 2000-2010, 2010-2060; CDC, WISQARS (Jun. 2015).
- Footnote: These data are measured by the number of discharges from acute care hospitals for injuries among children. LNE (Low Number Event) refers to rates that have been suppressed because there were fewer than 20 cases. N/A means that data are not available. Use caution when comparing rates presented on kidsdata.org, which are based on Dec. 2014 population estimates, with those reported by the California Dept. of Public Health, which are based on Nov. 2012 estimates.
- Measures of Injuries on Kidsdata.org
The injury data on kidsdata.org are based on hospital discharges for injuries among children and youth ages 0-20. These data can be viewed as a number or a rate per 100,000. They also can be viewed as a number by age and cause. In addition, numbers and rates are provided for intentional (e.g., self-inflicted injuries or assault) and unintentional (e.g., car accidents, falls, etc.) injuries by age group. All data exclude fatal injuries.
- Infant Mortality
- Suicide and Self-Inflicted Injury
- Why This Topic Is Important
Injuries are the leading cause of death among children and youth ages 1-19 in California and the U.S., and these injuries often are preventable (1, 2). Unintentional injuries, in particular, such as car accidents and falls, are the top cause of death (1). In fact, nationwide, one of every five deaths among all children under age 20 is due to unintentional injuries (3). Of course, not all injuries result in death. Each year, about 9 million children and youth are treated in emergency rooms for unintentional injuries in the U.S. – that’s one every 4 seconds (1, 4). Injury treatment is the leading cause of medical spending for children in the nation, costing nearly $11.5 billion each year (3).
Intentional injuries, such as self-inflected harm or assault, are less common than unintentional injuries but still are among the leading causes of death for children ages 1-19, statewide and nationally (2, 5).For more information on injuries, see kidsdata.org’s Research & Links section.
Sources cited for this narrative:
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012, April). Child injury. CDC Vital Signs. Retrieved from: http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/childinjury/?s_cid=bb-vitalsigns-120
2. As cited on kidsdata.org, Child/youth death rate, by age and leading cause. (2015). California Department of Public Health, Death Statistical Master Files; CDC, Mortality data on WONDER; California Department of Finance, Race/Ethnic Population with Age and Sex Detail, 1990-1999, 2000-2010, 2000-2060. Retrieved from: http://www.dof.ca.gov/
3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012, April 20). Vital signs: Unintentional injury deaths among persons aged 0-19 years – United States, 2000-2009. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 61(15), 270-276. Retrieved from: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm61e0416a1.htm?s_cid=mm61e0416a1_w
4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012). Protect the ones you love: Child injuries are preventable. Retrieved from: http://www.cdc.gov/safechild/index.html
5. Murphy, S. L., et al. (2013). Deaths: Final data for 2010. National Vital Statistics Reports, 61(4). National Center for Health Statistics. Retrieved from: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr61/nvsr61_04.pdf
- How Children Are Faring
In 2013, there were 26,450 hospitalizations for non-fatal injuries among children and youth ages 0-20 statewide. The California rate of hospitalizations for injuries among children/youth decreased by 41% between 1993 and 2013, from 411.6 per 100,000 to 244.4. Among counties with available data, the rate of hospitalizations due to injuries ranged from 138.7 per 100,000 to 389.5 in 2013.
Hospitalization rates for unintentional injuries in California, which account for the majority of hospitalizations for injuries among children/youth, have fluctuated in recent years, but are lower than 1993 levels. This is true overall and among all age groups. In recent years, rates of hospitalizations for unintentional injuries have been highest among those ages 16-20 and under age 1 in California. The hospitalization rate for intentional injuries is highest among youth ages 16-20, followed by youth ages 13-15.
- Policy Implications
Most unintentional injuries to children/youth ages 0-20 are preventable, and many can be addressed by public policies focused on safety. California has a number of laws in place to strengthen injury prevention (1). Intentional injuries, occurring as the result of maltreatment or self-harm, also can be prevented and should be addressed.
According to research and subject experts, policies that could reduce injuries among children and youth include:
For more policy ideas about injury prevention, see kidsdata.org's Research & Links section. For more information on child abuse prevention, see the Child Welfare Information Gateway. Also see Policy Implications on kidsdata.org under the topics School Connectedness, Suicide and Self-Inflicted Injury, Deaths, and Child Abuse and Neglect.
- Setting school policies that foster student “connectedness” with school (meaning students feel they are treated fairly, close to people, and safe at school), as research has shown that this is among the strongest protective factors in decreasing the risk of unintentional injury from causes such as drinking and driving or not wearing a seatbelt (2, 3)
- Enforcing existing motor vehicle safety laws, including those concerning seat belts, car seats, and drunk and distracted driving (4, 5)
- Educating families and other caregivers on injury prevention related to the accidental exposure to medications—the leading cause of child poisoning—and other dangers in the home, such as firearms and pools (6, 7)
- Addressing the social factors associated with child maltreatment, such as neighborhood economic distress, poverty, and low parental education levels (8)
- Preventing child abuse by ensuring that children have safe, stable, and caring relationships with caregivers through efforts such as home visiting programs for high-risk groups, hospital-based education programs for new mothers, and comprehensive child development centers that provide resources for children and parents (8, 9)
- Providing routine and accessible mental health screening and services to youth to address depression and prevent youth self-harm (10)
Sources for this narrative:
1. National Center for Children in Poverty. (2011). California adolescent profile. Retrieved from: http://www.nccp.org/projects/ITOAdolescents_stateprofiles.html
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2009). School connectedness: Strategies for increasing protective factors among youth. Retrieved from: http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/protective/connectedness.htm
3. Monahan, K. C., et al. (2010). Predictors and consequences of school connectedness: The case for prevention. The Prevention Researcher, 17(3), 3-6. Retrieved from: http://www.pitt.edu/~adlab/People%20pics%20and%20links/Publications%20page/Predictors%20and%20Consequences%20of%20School%20Connectedness.pdf
4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2013). A national action plan for child injury prevention: Reducing motor-vehicle related injuries in children. Retrieved from: http://www.cdc.gov/safechild/NAP/overviews/mv-kids.html
5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015). Injury prevention & control: Motor vehicle safety -- Distracted driving. Retrieved from: http://www.cdc.gov/Motorvehiclesafety/Distracted_Driving/index.html
6. Ferguson, R. W., & Mickalide, A. D. (2013). An in-depth look at keeping young children safe around medicine. Safe Kids Worldwide. Retrieved from: http://www.safekids.org/medsreport
7. American Academy of Pediatrics, Council on Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention Executive Committee. (2012). Firearm-related injuries affecting the pediatric population. Pediatrics, 130(5), e1416-e1423. Retrieved from: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/130/5/e1416
8. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Preventing child maltreatment through the promotion of safe, stable, nurturing relationships between children and caregivers. Retrieved from: http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/pdf/CM_Strategic_Direction--Long-a.pdf
9. Preventing child maltreatment. (2009). The Future of Children, 19(2). Retrieved from: http://www.princeton.edu/futureofchildren/publications/journals/journal_details/index.xml?journalid=71
10. American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Mental Health. (2010). The case for routine mental health screening. Pediatrics, 125(Suppl. 3), S133-S139. Retrieved from: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/125/Supplement_3/S133
- Websites with Related Information
- Child Safety and Injury Prevention, National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health
- National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Prevention Institute
- Safe Kids Worldwide
- Self-Injury Outreach & Support, University of Guelph & McGill University
- VetoViolence, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Key Reports
- Building Community Commitment for Safe, Stable, Nurturing Relationships and Environments, 2014, Prevention Institute and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- CDC Grand Rounds: Evidence-Based Injury Prevention, 2014, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
- Child Passenger Safety: Get the Facts, 2015, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Game Changers: Stats, Stories, and What Communities Are Doing to Protect Young Athletes, 2013, Safe Kids Worldwide
- Health Plan Approaches to Child Injury Prevention, 2015, NIHCM Foundation
- Multi-Sector Partnerships for Preventing Violence, 2014, Prevention Institute
- Overview of Childhood Injury Morbidity and Mortality in the U.S. Fact Sheet, 2015, Safe Kids Worldwide
- Preventing Youth Violence: Opportunities for Action, 2014, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, David-Ferdon, C., & Simon, T. R.
- Safe Youth - Safe Schools, 2015, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance — United States, 2013, 2014, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Kann, L., et al.
- County/Regional Reports
- 2015 Kern County Report Card, Kern County Network for Children
- Children's Report Card, Sacramento County Children's Coalition
- Key Indicators of Health by Service Planning Area, 2013, Los Angeles County Dept. of Public Health
- San Diego County Report Card on Children and Families, 2013, The Children's Initiative
- Santa Clara County Public Health Department: Data and Statistics
- More Data Sources For Injuries
- Childstats.gov, Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics
- EpiCenter: California Injury Data Online, California Dept. of Public Health
- The Youngest Americans: A Statistical Portrait of Infants and Toddlers in the United States, 2013, Child Trends, Murphey, D., et al.
- Web-Based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention