Child/Youth Death Rate, by Age and Cause: 2014-2016
Unintentional injuries were a leading cause of death for ages 1-24 overall in California from 2014-2016. The death of any young person is a tragedy, but deaths from unintentional injuries, or preventable injuries, such as motor vehicle accidents, drowning, and falls are particularly troubling. For children ages 1-4, the most common cause of unintentional injury-related death is drowning; for 5- to 24-year-olds, the most common cause is motor vehicle accidents. Since at least 1996, unintentional injuries have been the leading cause of death for youth ages 15-19.
The data reveal that preventable deaths do not discriminate. Unintentional injuries is the leading cause of death across all racial/ethnic groups, with the exception of African American youth, for whom homicide was the leading cause of death.
Protecting children and youth from unintentional injuries requires both a local and system-level approach, from addressing risk factors, to promoting awareness. Changes in public policies can help reduce risk factors associated with unintentional injuries such as implementing a graduated driver license program to age 21 (Assembly Bill 1267). We must spread awareness on how best to protect our children, especially when their leading cause of death is preventable.
The California Coalition for Children’s Safety and Health offers safety tips and best practices on drowning prevention, bicycle safety, and more.
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Posted by kidsdata.org