A national study of nearly 700,000 hospitalisations over the past 10 years finds injuries are the number one cause of death in children under 17.
That’s twice the number of hospital admissions as cancer, diabetes and heart disease combined, reports SMH.
Each year about 149 children die and 680,000 children aged 16 and younger are hospitalised from injuries.
For every severely injured child, at least another 13 children are hospitalised with minor or moderate injuries.
Falls from playground equipment – which account for about a third of all hospitalisation – led to over 55,000 children hospitalised over the 10 years between 2002-2012.
“The results are so alarming. It is clear we need to do something,” said Professor Kate Curtis, a co-author of the report and a professor of emergency and trauma nursing at Sydney University and a clinician academic in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Health District.
17 researchers and clinicians specialising in paediatric medicine and childhood trauma have called on the federal government to urgently establish a new national injury prevention plan.
“It is quite astounding that injury to children is the largest cause of disability and death but we don’t have a national prevention plan,” said Professor Curtis.
The 10-year study was published by Injury Prevention.
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