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Child Injury Death Rate Down, But Suffocation, Drug Overdoses Up

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By Admin on April 19, 2012 9:44 AM

Death rates from accidental injuries to children dropped nearly 30% overall from 2000 to 2009, a new federal report shows. But two types of accidental injury deaths saw significant increases.

"The decrease in injury death rates in the past decade has resulted in more than 11,000 children's lives being saved," the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement, according to UPI. "But we can do more. It's tragic and unacceptable when we lose even one child to an avoidable injury."

The CDC's Vital Signs report shows most causes of accidental injury deaths for children are on the decline. But two types of injury deaths affecting two different age groups have seen significant spikes since 2000:

Child injury deaths from suffocation increased by 54% among infants 1 year old and younger -- from 864 deaths in 2000 to 1,160 deaths in 2009, according to the CDC.

Many infant deaths were apparently linked to how they slept. CDC researchers recommend following the American Academy of Pediatrics' infant-sleeping guidelines: Infants should sleep alone in cribs, on their backs, with no loose bedding or soft toys, U.S. News reports.

Child injury deaths from poisoning also spiked by 91% among 15- to 19-year-olds, mainly because of prescription-drug overdoses, CDC researchers said.

Still, motor vehicle crashes remain the No. 1 cause of accidental child injury deaths in the United States. Crash-related deaths declined 41% between 2000 and 2009, but still account for about half of all child injury deaths, the CDC says.

Though the total number of deaths from accidental child injuries is declining, accidents are still the leading cause of death for U.S. children between 1 and 19. Accidents are the fifth-leading cause of death for children under 1, the report says, according to USA Today.

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