NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Childhood Accidental Deaths Fall

December 17, 1999

The leading cause of death in the U.S. for children 14 and younger is still unintentional injury, but the injury-related death rate for children in the United States has fallen 46 percent in the past 20 years, according to a report by the National Safe Kids Campaign.

The report says improved child safety seats, bicycle helmets and smoke alarms played a big role in reducing the death toll. For instance, bike helmets cut the risk of brain injury by 88 percent.

  • Home fire-related deaths among children are down 55 percent.
  • Child deaths in car crashes are down 10 percent over the past 18 years.
  • Bicycle-related injury deaths are down 60 percent since the late 1970s.

Safe Kids says the better-build safety devices are easier to use and often cheaper, which (along with new federal and state laws) greatly increases their use.

Source: Press Release, "Childhood Unintentional Injury-Related Death Rate Drops by Nearly Half in Past Two Decades," December 16, 1999, National SAFE KIDS Campaign, 1301 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Suite 1000, Washington, D.C. 20004, (202) 662-0600.


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