What Types of Unintentional Injuries Kill Our Children? Do Infants Die of the Same Types Of Injuries? A Systematic Review | Clinics
The objective of this study was to review mortality from external causes (accidental injury) in children and adolescents in systematically selected journals. This was a systematic review of the literature on mortality from accidental injury in children and adolescents. We searched the PubMed, Latin-American and Caribbean Health Sciences and Excerpta Medica databases for articles published between July of 2001 and June of 2011. National data from official agencies, retrieved by manual searches, were also reviewed. We reviewed 15 journal articles, the 2011 edition of a National Safety Council publication and 2010 statistical data from the Brazilian National Ministry of Health Mortality Database. Most published data were related to high-income countries. Mortality from accidental injury was highest among children less than 1 year of age. Accidental threats to breathing (non-drowning threats) constituted the leading cause of death among this age group in the published articles. Across the pediatric age group in the surveyed studies, traffic accidents were the leading cause of death, followed by accidental drowning and submersion. Traffic accidents constitute the leading external cause of accidental death among children in the countries under study. However, infants were vulnerable to external causes, particularly to accidental non-drowning threats to breathing, and this age group had the highest mortality rates for external causes. Actions to reduce such events are suggested. Further studies investigating the occurrence of accidental deaths in low-income countries are needed to improve the understanding of these preventable events.
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