Skip Navigation
  Print Page

How many children experience or are at risk for injury?

Skip sharing on social media links
Share this:

Data gathered between 2000 and 2006 on the number of children experiencing injuries (nonfatal and fatal) indicate the following1,2,3:

Nonfatal Injuries

  • Each year, among children below the age of 19, more than 9.2 million were treated for nonfatal injuries in emergency departments.
  • Males had higher rates of nonfatal injuries than females did.
  • The leading cause of nonfatal injuries in all age groups younger than age 15 was falls.
  • The next leading causes of nonfatal injuries in the following age groups were:
    • Ages 0 to 9: Being struck by or against an object and animal bites or insect stings
    • Ages 10 to 14: Being struck by or against an object and overexertion
    • Ages 15 to 19: Being struck by or against an object, falls, and motor vehicle accidents.

Fatal Injuries

  • Pediatric injury is the leading cause of death in children below the age of 19 in the United States.
  • Each year between 2000 and 2005, more than 12,000 children died from injuries. The injury death rate for males was almost twice the injury death rate for females.
  • The leading cause of fatal injuries was injuries to passengers in motor vehicle accidents.
  • The leading causes of fatal injuries in the following age groups were:
    • Less than 1 year of age: Suffocation
    • Ages 1 to 4: Drowning
    • Ages 5 to 19: Motor vehicle accidents
  • Fatal injury rates were highest for American Indian and Alaska Natives and were lowest for Asian or Pacific Islanders; rates for whites and African Americans were about the same.

These numbers understate the total number of injuries because the primary source of information on pediatric injury is emergency departments. Many injuries are treated in physician’s offices and other outpatient clinical sites.

Although the NICHD conducts and supports research on pediatric injury, its treatments, and its long-term outcomes, the Institute is not the primary federal source of information for non-researchers on injury statistics and information on preventing pediatric injuries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) provide a range of information for parents, caregivers, and families about ways to prevent childhood injury, safety recommendations, and product warnings and recalls. For more information, visit:


  1. Borse, N. N., Gilchrist, J., Dellinger, A. M., Rudd, R. A., Ballesteros, M. F., & Sleet, D. A. (2008). CDC childhood injury report: patterns of unintentional injuries among 0-19 year olds in the United States, 2000-2006. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Retrieved November 5, 2013, from http://www.cdc.gov/safechild/images/CDC-childhoodinjury.pdf (PDF - 2 MB) [top]
  2. U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2013, April). Traffic Safety Facts 2011 Data: Young Drivers. Retrieved November 5, 2013, from http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811744.pdf (PDF- 782 KB) [top]
  3. U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2013, May). Traffic Safety Facts 2011 Data: Children. Retrieved November 5, 2013, from http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811767.pdf (PDF - 765 KB) [top]

Last Updated Date: 12/09/2013
Last Reviewed Date: 10/23/2013
Vision National Institutes of Health Home BOND National Institues of Health Home Home Storz Lab: Section on Environmental Gene Regulation Home Machner Lab: Unit on Microbial Pathogenesis Home Division of Intramural Population Health Research Home Bonifacino Lab: Section on Intracellular Protein Trafficking Home Lilly Lab: Section on Gamete Development Home Lippincott-Schwartz Lab: Section on Organelle Biology