The good news is that the death rate for children, nationwide, is down significantly. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study undertaken between 2000 and 2009, shows that there was a 30 percent reduction of deaths among children.
Nevertheless, the leading cause of death for children is accidents. Motor vehicle death rates for children are significant. 9,000 children, ages 0-19 die as a result of accidents in the United States. The CDC reports that more children ages 5-9 die from a motor vehicle collision than any other type of injury! Every hour of every day 150 children are taken to US Emergency Rooms for motor vehicle injuries. That is, 9 million children per year. The medical expense for caring for children who are injured is $11.5 billion per year.
Safety in motor vehicles is key. The CDC make the following pointers: for children under two, a rear facing child seat, in the back, in critical. For children up to 40 pounds, a forward facing child safety seat, in the back; for children up to 4 feet 9 inches, a booster seat in the back; for everyone older and bigger, seat belts. Remember, air bags in the front can kill children that are too small for the pressure they exert.
Burn injuries in children occur over 300 times per day. These are not always house fires. Children are frequently burned from unsafe cooking practices. Infants can be burned simply by very hot tap water.
Falls cause more non wrongful death injuries in children than any other type of injury. 2.8 million Children are treated for injuries they sustained from a fall each year. That is 8,000 children per day in the US. The CDC suggests supervision of children, keeping sports safe with proper gear, and checking all playing surfaces, including playgrounds and sports fields carefully.
Drowning deaths among children can be prevented. Drowning wrongful death is the leading cause of deaths for children ages 1-4. That is three children die, every day, from a drowning. The recommendations from the CDC are clear: learn CPR, fence off pools, insist on life jackets for all boating activities for minors, and supervise supervise supervise when children are playing in or near water.
Suffocation is largely a risk for infants. And this is mostly when sleeping. There were 1000 infants that suffocated to death in 2009, from a total of 1,160 child wrongful deaths from suffocation. The CDC requests that parents put infants on their back and keep small and soft objects away. For bigger kids, they recommend teaching about proper eating habits, including not running and eating, eating small bites, etc.
Finally there is the sad story of prescription drug overdoses, which rose 80% in a decade! Half of the deaths from “accidental poisonings” are for children 15-19. The research says that experimenting with parent’s prescription drugs has replaced the marijuana experimentation of a generation ago.
As we reported in our blog in June 2012, Massachusetts wrongful death cases among children is significantly lower than most states.
For an attorney that has represented families where there was a wrongful death to a child in Massachusetts, call someone with experience since 1985. Call Attorney Neil Burns at 617-227-7423.