Over 150 Australian children die and a further 68,000 are hospitalised every year due to unintentional injuries - the kind often referred to as 'accidents'. More Australian children die of injury than die of cancer and asthma combined.
Every year in Victoria approximately 20 children die and over 100,000 are treated in hospital (hospital admissions and emergency department presentations) as a result of unintentional injuries. The majority of these injuries and deaths are preventable.
Common causes of child injury include:
- Transport – children involved in motor vehicle crashes, pedestrian incidents and driveway run overs.
- Fatal and non fatal drowning - in backyard pools and spas, baths, the beach and open waterways
- Choking, suffocation and strangulation - from food (e.g. nuts, hard lollies, marshmallows), small objects (e.g. coins, small parts off of toys or small toys) and curtain and blind cords.
- Falls – from things such as nursery furniture and equipment (e.g. prams, high chairs, change tables), household furniture (e.g. cots, beds, chairs), playground equipment and wheeled devices (e.g. bikes, scooters).
- Hit/struck/crush – finger jambs in doors and household objects such as televisions and bookcases falling on top of children.
- Cutting/piercing – cuts from glass and other sharp household items (e.g. knives, scissors).
- Burns and scalds – from hot tap water, hot beverages such as tea and coffee and hot food including soup and 2 minute noodles.
- Poisoning – from common medications such as paracetamol, household cleaners (e.g. bleach, dishwashing detergent, toilet bowl cleaners).