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Unintentional Injuries Among Children

Injuries are the third leading cause of death in the European region. In-spite of their magnitude and preventability, Injuries are neglected more than other diseases (Devroey D1, 2006). In the European region, about 26,0000 children under the age of 15 died from injuries, an equivalent of 3 children/hour (WHO, 2005). In Romania, an estimate of 777 children die/year because of unintentional injuries (Alliance, 2012).
Domestic accidents are accidents that occur in homes, or in its immediate surroundings. In European countries, home accidents have more fatality than road traffic accidents. Every domestic accident inflicts different measures of distress to the victims as well as the family members, and the consequences may be disastrous on both community and individual level when resulted in permanent disability (S.Galal, 1999).  
Children being unaware of the dangers of their surroundings, they are more prone to home accidents. The leading cause of domestic accidents among childhood in homes are drowning, falls, thermal injuries and poisoning. The home is of significance when analyzing child injuries as it is an environment where children are brought up, and achieve developmental milestones by interacting with their physical surroundings. The risk factor of injuries among children within the home is a joint interaction between the caregiver, the child and the home surroundings (Laflamme, 2010).

Types of home accident injuries:
Drowning the 2nd leading cause of death among children age 0-19 years within the European union. It is accounted for 14 deaths per day and 5000 deaths per year. In addition, for each child that dies from drowning, 2 are estimated to be permanently disabled, resulting to neurological damages in the child. Children can drown within an inch of water such as bath tubs and indoor pools.

Poisoning is the third leading cause of domestic injuries among children in European countries. 3000 children between 0-14 years die/year. The curiosity and desire to put everything in their mouth puts a child in high risk to the exposure of poison. Children eat or drink anything they see that is attractive, regardless the taste of the of the substance (Alliance, Poisoning Among Children, 2009).
Children are more likely to suffer serious consequences when exposed to poison because of their size, and their fast-metabolic rates. Their body is unable to neutralize toxic substances. More than 90% of poisonings occur in the homes, and many of these chemicals are cleaning supplies, pills, pesticides, medicines, cosmetics etc (Center, Harborview Injury Prevention & Research, 2001).   .  

Thermal injuries
Children are naturally curious of their surroundings as they become older and more mobile. They begin to familiarize with their surroundings, as a result, they come In contact with objects that can give them severe injuries such as burns. Thermal injuries are the most painful and devastating experience a child should go through, as it affects them on a long term (Ruth Baker, 2016). According to WHO Global Burden of Disease, in 2004, 30% of the population (310,000) who died from severe burns were under the age of 20 years. Fire related injuries are the 11th leading cause of death for children between 1 and 9 years. In total, children are at high risk for death from burns with a global estimate of 3.9 deaths/100 000 population (Margie Peden, 2008).

Data shows that falls is the most frequent type o injury resulting in hospitalization emergency. Although it is part of a child growing up, non-fatal falls is a significant burden on healthcare facilities. Falls from heights, or on concrete floors can result to severe injuries, disabilities or even death. Children are at risk as they may underestimate their physical balance or mental ability to perform activities safely. Falls are the most important source of disability because they are common, and have serious long term health consequences. Changing tables, stairs, windows, balconies, and playgrounds are risk factors of falls (Dinesh Sethi)

Magnitude of the Problem


1.      Alliance, E. C. (2009, 0ctomber). Poisoning Among Children. Retrieved from
2.       Alliance, E. C. (2012). CHILD SAFETY REPORT CARD. Retrieved from
3.       Center, Harborview Injury Prevention & Research. (2001). Reducing the impact of injury and violence on people’s lives through research, education, training and public awareness.
4.       Devroey D1, V. C. (2006, September 13). The incidence of home accidents is going down in Belgium. Retrieved from
5.       Dinesh Sethi, E. T.-G. (n.d.). European Report on Child Injurt Prevention. Retrieved from
6.       Laflamme, M. S. (2010, April 29). Child home injury mortality in Europe: a 16-country analysis. European Journal of Public Health. Retrieved from
7.       Margie Peden, K. O.-S. (2008). World Report on Child Injury Prevention. Retrieved from file:///C:/Users/alina/Documents/2nd%20year,%202nd%20semester/VIP/World_report.pdf
8.       Ruth Baker, a. L. (2016, November 4). Differing patterns in thermal injury incidence and hospitalisations among 0–4 year old children from England. NCBI. Retrieved from
9.       S.Galal. (1999). working with families to reduce the risk of home accidents in children. Retrieved from

10.   WHO. (2005, May 30). Preventing children accidents and improving home safety in the European Region. WHO Europe. WHO European Centre for Environment and Health, Bonn Office . Retrieved from

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