Injuries are the leading cause of death in children and teenagers in the world today. The leading causes of unintentional injury vary by age and include drowning, poisoning, suffocation, fires, burns, falls, and motor vehicle, bicycle, and pedestrian-related crashes. Most injuries are preventable by modifying the child’s environment (e.g., use of stair gates) and having parents engage in safety practices. Despite the significance of the problem, little formal research has been directed cowards injury prevention by the Head of Department (HOD) Public Health Nursing, Ogun State College of Health Mrs. Sebioniga Lawai M.Y

Young children spend so much of their time at home; the home is unfortunately, where accidents are likely to occur, both intentional and unintentional. The home is defined as the environment in and around the home, including the garden and driveway (Runyan & Casteel, 2004)

Overall, researchers estimated that there are 4 million emergency department visits for childhood injuries that occur at home each year. More than half a million children have moderate to severe injuries, and more than 73,680 children were hospitalized each year from injuries that occurred in private homes. Children less than 5 years of age were more likely to be injured than kids less than 9, and boys visited the emergency department more often than girls for injuries that occurred at home. Falls were the most common type of injury – they account for an estimated 1.5 million emergency department visits annually. The extremities – including the arms, legs, hands, and feet – were the most frequent injured body parts (Kieran Phelan, Jane Khoury, Heidi Kalkwarf & Bruce Lanphear, 2005)

Most childhood home injuries occur in the living room or bedroom where children spend most of their time. Falls are the number one cause, followed by collisions with a person or object, and crushing/cutting or piercing injuries. The major result is a bruise, followed by an open wound, then a fracture. The body parts most injured are the head followed by the upper extremities and then the lower extremities (European Union Injury Database, 2002).

Children from deprived areas are 16 times more likely to suffer injury and death in house fires. They are also more likely to be admitted into hospitals with scald injuries and to be admitted with more severe scald injuries than children from less deprived homes (Child Accident Prevention Trust. Factsheet, 2005). The consequences of these fatal and nonfatal injuries to children carry physical and emotional costs to the individual and our society. An injury affects more than just the injured child – it affects many others involved in the child’s community. With a nonfatal injury, family members most often care for the injured child, which can cause stress, time away from work, and lost income. The community also feels the cost burden of a child’s injuries, as does the state and the nation.

Who is Most Vulnerable?
Some children are at greater risk than others when an injury occurs, death- related Injuries and disabilities are more likely to occur among males, children of lower socioeconomic status, those Jiving in specific geographic regions, and in certain racial/ethnic groups.

In every age group across all races and for every cause of unintentional injury, death rates are higher for ma les. Male death rates are almost twice that of females. Males aged 15-19 years have the highest rates of v i sits, hospitalizations, and deaths.

Children less than 1year of age who die from an injury are predominantly victims of unintended suffocation or accidental strangulation. Drowning is the main cause of injury deaths among children aged 1-4 years. Most death s of children aged 5 – 19 years are due to traffic injuries, as occupants, pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorcyclists.

Socio-demographic factors
The risk of injury for young children may be linked to socio-demographic factors such as age and education of mother, with those of lower socio-economic status typically being at a greater risk of having an injury. In a seven year study of childhood falls from windows, the incidence of falls in urban areas was four times that of surrounding non -urban areas, and Black children were three times more likely to fall than non-Black children (European Union Injury Database, 2002).

Older children in developing countries have been reported to have fallen from trees, which have resulted to broken bones and crushed heads thereby causing unconsciousness. Dog, snake or scorpion bites are not excluded. A child can also be drowned or injured on the road, or harmed by fireworks (European Union Injury Database, 2002)

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