While accidents and injuries are arguably a part of childhood as we learn and grow, the death of any child is a tragic occurrence for parents, siblings, and entire communities. Child accidental death statistics show that unintentional injury is the leading cause of child mortality in the United States.
With the discovery of hygiene, the invention of vaccinations, and the improvement in the wealth of the world, the global child mortality rate is nothing compared to what it was.
Still, researchers argue that just as the diseases that used to take children from their families were preventable, so too are the majority of accidents that result in child death.
The following data will shed light on this occurrence, and hopefully enlighten parents on how best to act when their children find themselves in dangerous situations.
Child Accidental Death Statistics (Editor’s Choice)
- 7,000 children and teens died from unintentional injuries in 2019
- Around 2,000 children die at home due to accidental injuries
- Globally, almost 4% of children die before reaching the age of five
- Every five days, a child dies due to choking in the United States
- Four in ten unintentional shootings among children happen in a friend’s home
- Transport-related injuries represent the leading cause of children’s death
- Almost 5,230 children died from choking in 2019
- Falls make up around 50% of all nonfatal injuries in children under the age of one
Accidental Child Death Statistics: Overview
1. Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of mortality among children in the United States.
Unintentional injuries such as drowning, poisoning, falls and burns, are the leading cause of children’s deaths in the United States. While disease, hunger, and poverty were once the primary causes of child mortality, in a modern world that is built for adults, children are most at risk just by being in an adult environment.
2. In 2019, 7,000 children and teens died from unintentional injuries.
Approximately 7,000 teenagers and children die from accidental injury every year, according to child deaths statistics. With 20 deaths per day, the leading causes are motor vehicle accidents, followed by suffocation, drowning, poisoning, fires, and falls.
3. Around 2,000 children lose their lives at home as a result of accidental injuries.
(Stanford Children) (CDC)
Children aged 14 and younger are most likely to die due to accidental home injuries. Among the most common are fire burns, airway obstruction injuries, drowning, falls, choking, poisoning, and even firearms. The death rate is almost two times higher for male children than for female children across all age groups.
Infant and Toddler Death Statistics
4. In the US, there are 3,400 sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUID) annually.
These deaths don’t have any immediately apparent causes. According to child deaths statistics, in 2019, around 1,250 cases of SUID occurred in the US, of which 960 resulted from unintentional suffocation and strangulation in bed, and 1,180 had no known causes.
5. 3.9% of children die before reaching the age of five.
(Our World in Data)
Worldwide, almost 4% of children don’t make it until the age of five. In perspective, that’s almost 15,000 child deaths every day. Child mortality has declined by more than half since 1990, from 12 million deaths per year to 5 million globally.
Child Choking Statistics
6. A child dies every five days due to choking in the US.
One child dies from choking in the US every five days. Death due to choking is largely a preventable injury with proper supervision, awareness, and caregiver knowledge of responding to such incidents. Up to 12,000 children end up in the emergency room due to food choking-related injuries every year, child injury statistics report.
7. Choking is the fourth leading cause of accidental death for children younger than five.
Children under five are at immense risk of choking. Learning the coordination of chewing and swallowing and their common behavior of putting everything in their mouth makes supervision an important prevention strategy for parents and caregivers. Most commonly, child suffocation and choking statistics show that children in this age category choke on toys, small household items, and food.
8. In 2019, 5,228 children died from choking.
(Statista, Birmingham Mail)
Older children are more likely to choke, most commonly with food. Namely, some of the worst food choking hazards for children are whole grapes, raw vegetables, cheese strips, nuts, seeds, sweets, hot dogs, apples, peanut butter, popcorn, and chunks of meat.
Most Common Childhood Injuries by Age
9. Almost 40% of unintentional shootings among children happen in a friend’s home.
Gun safety is one of primary concerns for children. Nearly 40% of accidental shootings among children aged 11 to 14 happen in a friend’s house, with the majority of victims being boys. Moreover, one in every three families with children has at least one gun in the house.
Child safety statistics show that falls remain the number one cause of injury for this age group. Still, gun safety and supervision is a primary prevention strategy for firearm accidents among children. Gun safes can help with that.
10. Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death among very young children.
Among kids aged one to four, drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death. Children usually drown in residential swimming pools. Child drownings can occur in shallow water as well, statistics show, with some children drowning in just one inch of water.
11. Accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed were accountable for over 28% of SUID in 2019.
Safe sleep practices can prevent many suffocation deaths. In fact, according to a study, nearly nine in ten babies up to four months old and seven in ten infants up to 11 months old who lost their lives due to suffocation were found lying on their stomachs.
Child Death Car Accident Statistics
12. Transport-related injuries are the leading cause of death among children.
(CDC) (Stanford Children)
Car accident statistics indicate that injuries that occur in transportation have taken the highest number of US children’s lives. This accounts for children who died both in a motor vehicle during a crash and also those who were hit by cars as pedestrians or cyclists. For instance, around 100 children die from bicycle-related injuries every year, and 254,000 kids suffer from bicycle-related injuries that didn’t result in death.
13. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of child death in the US.
The leading cause of child death in America is car crashes. For example, in 2019, almost 650 children aged 12 and younger lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes, and 91,000 were injured. In more than one-third of cases, the child was not wearing a seatbelt.
14. Restraining children in rear seats reduces the risk of fatality by three-quarters.
The invention and use of seatbelts and restraints in motor vehicles is a significant contributor to lowering mortality rates for anyone who experiences a car crash. As the leading cause of child death in America in 2020, the use of restraints is a primary prevention tactic.
If the child is three or younger, driving them in the rear seat instead of the front seat can reduce the risk of fatal injury by three-quarters. For children four to eight years old, backseat placement reduces the risk by half.
15. In 2019, 181 child pedestrians died in traffic crashes.
Child accidental death statistics demonstrate that over 60% of them were males. In addition, around 96%, or 173 child pedestrians, lost their lives in single-vehicle crashes, and only 4%, or eight child pedestrians, died in multiple-vehicle crashes.
16. 73% of fatalities involving a child hit by a car happened in urban areas.
Of all the cases of accidental child deaths by motor vehicles in 2019, 129 casualties happened in urban areas, compared to 27% (48) in rural areas. 56% of children were killed during daylight hours.
Notably, traffic safety statistics indicate that most motor vehicle deaths occur during daylight hours, regardless of the victim’s age. Unsurprisingly, the afternoon holds the highest prevalence of fatalities, with after-school hours being the most prominent.
Racial Demographics and Child Fatality Statistics
17. In 2019, the highest infant mortality rate was among the Non-Hispanic black population.
Non-Hispanic black infants had the highest mortality rate in 2019, with 10.8 per 1,000. Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders reported the second-highest rate with 9.4 per 1,000. A mortality rate of 8.2 was recorded among American Indians and Alaska Natives, child fatality statistics showed, while Hispanics had a 4.9 rate. Non-Hispanic white people followed closely, with 4.6 per 1,000, while Asian-Americans had the lowest rate, with 3.6 per 1,000.
18. The risk of accidental death in children is the highest among American Indians and Alaska Natives.
Injury death rates for children are the highest among American Indians and Alaska Natives, according to a 2019 study examining childhood injury statistics. While on the other hand, the rates were the lowest for Asian or Pacific Islanders. Caucasians and African-Americans had relatively equal incidence rates.
19. Northeastern states have the lowest number of child deaths caused by injuries.
The northeastern states have the lowest incidence of child deaths caused by accidents in the entire country. Some of the southern states reported high rates of child death caused by fire and burns, while traffic collisions were most common in the southern states and upper plains.
Nonfatal Childhood Injury Statistics
20. For children under the age of one, falls account for 50% of all nonfatal injuries.
Notably, fall statistics show that falling is the leading cause of nonfatal injury for all age groups under 15. Among infants and children under 10, two other causes are noted: being struck by an object (or against it) and animal bites or insect stings.
21. Children account for 8,000 fall-related trips to hospital ERs every day.
Accidental child deaths statistics reveal that 9.2 million children visit the emergency room every year for accidental injuries. Around 8,000 daily visits to the emergency room are for fall-related injuries of children and teens under the age of 19.
Accidental injury in childhood may be part of the experience of being a kid, but it doesn’t have to be a tragedy. Over the last few decades, rates have been declining, as child safety statistics confirm. It’s important to note that fatal injuries are preventable with the right precautionary measures and supervision.
Motor-vehicle accidents continue to take the lead in taking the lives of children, emphasizing the importance of using seat belts, putting children in the back seats, and driving with caution. Other causes of accidental death in children are drowning, suffocation, choking, poisoning, and falls.
People Also Ask
The leading cause of death during childhood is unintentional injury. These instances involve drowning, poisoning, falls, burns, choking, and suffocation. Approximately 7,000 teenagers and children under 19 years die an accidental death every year. Further, about 2,000 children lose their lives at home due to unintentional injury.
Globally, 3.9% of children die before reaching the age of five; that’s 15,000 children dying every day. Even though the toddler death rate has been declining, there are still countries with children’s mortality rates higher than 2.5%.
More specifically, the US infant mortality rate was 5.6 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2019.
Nearly 7,000 children and teens die in the US every year from unintentional injuries. It means that, on average, more than 32 children die every day as a result of an accident. Around the world, nearly 15,000 children lose their lives daily due to different causes, accounting for 3.9% of the child population each year.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of child death in the United States. In 2019, around 608 child passengers aged 12 or under lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes. On top of that, 91,000 were injured.
Almost 40% of those who died weren’t buckled up, as child accidental death statistics report.