6 Common Childhood Injuries: Causes & Prevention

Tanuja Bisht

, Health A2Z

As a parent how many times do you wish you could go back and change a situation to avoid an accident involving your child? The great news is that with a little foresight most childhood injuries and accidents can be avoided.

It’s not possible or even not a good idea to protect your child from all the bruises, bumps, scrapes and falls of childhood. These are just part of growing up for a curious and an active child.

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But with some useful and practical steps or planning can be helpful in avoiding these incidents just like a kiss, cuddle or band-aid will fix, rather than one of the many serious accidents that happen each year.

Unintentional childhood injuries are the biggest cause of death and disability in children under 10-15 years. Most of these injuries can be prevented.

Top Causes of Childhood Injuries:

There are several causes of childhood injuries but the topmost causes are as follow;

  • Motor vehicle accident
  • Drowning
  • Choking, suffocation, and strangulation
  • Poisoning
  • Burns and scalds
  • Falls

1. Motor Vehicle Accidents

Almost 150 children experience emergency room care for injuries sustained from motor vehicle accidents every hour. Traffic accidents are one of the leading cause of death in children ages 5 to 19.

Car seat safety guidelines;

  • Rear-facing seats
  • Forward-facing seats
  • Booster seats
  • Seatbelts

2. Drowning

Drowning is the leading cause of fatal injury in children ages 1 to 5. Approximately every day, three children die from drowning.

Safety tips for drowning;

  • You should never leave your child near water.
  • You should not trust a child’s safety to another child.
  • You should teach your child to ask permission before entering the water.
  • Sign up your child for swimming lessons to learn the basics of swimming including floating and moving through water.
  • If you have a pool at home, you should install a four-sided fence with self-latching and self-closing gates to keep children from accidentally wandering in unsupervised.

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3. Suffocation

Infants are more likely to suffocate while they are sleeping. Choking on food or other small objects can also be the cause of suffocation in toddlers.

Safety tips for suffocation;

  • Place infants on their backs on a firm surface every time they sleep
  • You should make sure your child sleeps in a crib or bassinet.
  • Before your child sleep, you should clean the sleeping environment of blankets, toys, loose bedding, stuffed animals, and mobiles.

4. Poisoning

More than 300 children age 19 or less receive emergency room care for poisoning each day. The causes of this poisoning are household chemicals, medicines, and cleaners are the most common sources among children.

Safety tips for poisoning;

  • Keep toxic medicines and products you can lock away and/or out of your children’s reach.
  • Read labels and follow directions before giving medicine to children.
  • If medicine is unused or expired you should safely dispose of it.

5. Burns

Every day, about 300 children go to the emergency room for burn-related injuries. The most common reason for burns including hot liquids or steam. Flame burns in children caused by direct contact with fire

Prevention tips for burns;

  • You can install smoke alarms in your home.
  • You can also develop and practice a home fire escape plan with your family.
  • You can assist your children in the kitchen with the use of stoves, microwaves, and ovens.
  • Always check your water heater is at 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.

6. Falls

Falls are the topmost cause of non-fatal injuries for all children under age 15. Approximately about 8,000 children receive emergency room care for injuries caused by a fall each day.

Prevention tips for falls;

  • You can keep an eye on your child as they play on the playground; make sure playground equipment is safe, shock-absorbent, and sturdy.
  • Your child should wear appropriate safety gear like helmet and padding when playing sports.
  • You can prevent injury in the house by using home safety devices such as window guards, guardrails, and stair gates.


Childhood injuries are common but sometimes they can be very dangerous for children. Simple prevention can prevent your child from these injuries.

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