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FOR RELEASE: May 6, 2003
Childhood Unintentional Injury Death Rate Down Nearly 40 Percent
New research unveiled by the National SAFE KIDS Campaign and Johnson & Johnson shows that from 1987 to 2000, the unintentional injury death rate for children 14 and under has dropped by nearly 40 percent.
“This is one of the most dramatic declines ever seen in a children’s health issue,” said Martha Collar, coordinator of the Oklahoma SAFE KIDS program at the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
Despite this tremendous progress, unintentional injuries remain the number one killer of children from age 1 to 14 in the United States. In fact, unintentional injuries claim more than 5,600 children’s lives each year - or an average of 15 children each day. And there were more than 11.8 million medical visits for unintentional injury among U.S. children ages 14 and under in 2000 - or one injury visit for every five children.
This year is the15th anniversary of the National SAFE KIDS Campaign, the first and only national nonprofit organization dedicated solely to the prevention of unintentional childhood injury. To mark this milestone, SAFE KIDS and its founding sponsor Johnson & Johnson undertook a comprehensive study on child safety in America, A Report to the Nation: Trends in Unintentional Childhood Injury Mortality, 1987-2000.
The study unveiled the following startling trends in motor vehicle occupant injuries, airway obstruction and drowning:
The study’s results coincide with this week’s National SAFE KIDS Week observance, with the theme Wrap Your Arms Around Safety. Throughout the week, hundreds of SAFE KIDS coalitions and chapters will conduct safety fairs and community events all across the nation to teach families how to prevent injuries and save lives. Locally, Oklahoma SAFE KIDS is encouraging classroom teachers, principals, scout troop leaders and others to check out a new video for school-age children, which focuses on preventing unintentional injuries.
“We want adults to show this video and discuss with their children - in an age-appropriate way - how they can avoid becoming the next statistic,” said Collar.
The video is available for loan at no cost at more than 100 county health department sites in Oklahoma and at all 22 Regional Educational Service Centers (RESC). For information on the RESC nearest you, call the Oklahoma State Department of Education, (405) 521-4155.
For more information or for a copy of the SAFE KIDS/Johnson & Johnson A Report to the Nation: Trends in Unintentional Childhood Injury Mortality, 1987-2000, contact the National SAFE KIDS Campaign at (202) 662-0600 or visit www.safekids.org.
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