Long Branch, N.J.--According to The Safe Kids U.S. Summer Safety Ranking Report, New Jersey has the second lowest accidental death rate among children in the U.S. Every summer approximately 2,000 children up to age 14 are killed in accidents, reports Safe Kids USA, a nonprofit group that supports nationwide educational safety programs for children.
Vermont led the nation with 1.63 children per 100,000 dying from accidental injury during the summer, below the national average of 3.67 per 100,000. Wyoming scored last, with an 82.5 percent increase in their rate (8.27 children per 100,000) over a five-year period.
The Community Health Education Department and The Children’s Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center are leading Monmouth County's first and only chapter of the National Safe Kids Campaign, the first nonprofit organization for the prevention of unintentional childhood injury.
“This ranking confirms the importance of our success in providing the community with ongoing education and support about child health and safety issues,” says Margaret C. Fisher, MD, Chair of the Department of Pediatrics, The Children’s Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center. “We are pleased to be part of this important nationwide initiative to prevent injuries and save young lives.”
National Safe Kids Week
Release of this study coincides with the start of summer, known by emergency personnel as “trauma season,” since preventable accidental deaths and serious injuries to children increase dramatically.
The study reports that an average of 17 children a day, or 2,143 total, died from May to August 2004 due to injuries, many of which could have been prevented. Also in 2004, 2.4 million children made emergency room visits due to accidental injuries, many of which resulted in paralysis, brain damage and other serious disabilities.
Previous Safe Kids Worldwide research indicates that five of the most common causes of children’s accidental injury deaths in summer are:
- Drowning (increases 89 percent in the summer)
- Biking (increases 45 percent)
- Falls (increases 21 percent)
- Motor vehicle passenger injuries (increases 20 percent)
- Pedestrian injuries (increases 16 percent).
In fact, almost 60 percent of total children’s accidental injury deaths from May to August from 2001 to 2004 came from these risk areas.
The Children’s Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center and Safe Kids New Jersey recommend the following steps to reduce accidental injury and death to children during the summer months:
• Enact child safety legislation such as four-sided fencing around home pools and booster seat requirements
• Educate adults and children about the right precautions to take (for example, a properly-fitted helmet has proven to reduce the risk of brain injury by 88 percent)
• Use safety devices, such as installing window guards on each window above the first floor to reduce the risk of falls
• Strengthen the enforcement of existing child safety laws.
For more information on Safe Kids' Monmouth County Chapter, call The Community Health Education Department at Monmouth Medical Center at (732) 923-6990.
CONTACT: Beth Salamon
[ top ] [ back to news index ]