Unintentional injuries include road traffic injuries, poisonings, falls, burns and drowning. In 2001, an estimated 685,000 children under the age of 15 were killed by such unintentional injuries.
Approximately 20% of all deaths from unintentional injuries world-wide occur in children under 15 years old and they are among the ten leading causes of death for this age group. World-wide, the leading causes of death from unintentional injury among children are road traffic injuries (21% of such for this age group) and drowning (19%).
Unintentional injuries among children are a global problem, but in certain regions of the world, children and adolescents are disproportionately affected. The vast majority of such unintentional injuries among children occurs in low and middle-income countries. Children in the African, South-East Asian and Western Pacific regions account for 80% of all children’s deaths from unintentional injuries.
There are many solutions to these environmental health problems. A range of effective interventions exists in the areas of policy, education, awareness raising, technology development, and behavioural change. Such interventions can be extremely cost-effective and are implemented by policy- and decision-makers, householders, communities, educators, government officials and many other stakeholders.
Of course, the solutions to specific interventions that are implemented in any one setting will depend on the nature and severity of the problem, the local context, the resources available, and the priorities to be addressed.