There are few things sadder than hearing about a serious childhood accident or fatality. Our children are precious to us, and responsible parents go out of their way to keep their children safe. The death of a child is rightfully referred to as a tragic accident, but are these fatalities preventable for the most part? Missouri child accident attorneys were shocked by the results of a new study, indicating that most serious injuries and deaths of young children result from inadequate supervision or failure to protect children from harm.
Patricia Schnitzer, an associate professor in the MU Sinclair School of Nursing and the co-author of the study, says that although injuries to children may be unintentional, they can be prevented and many should not be considered accidents at all.
The CDC reports a shocking statistic: 7.1 million injury-related emergency room visits are made by children younger than 15 each year. Schnitzer's research (published in Injury Prevention) turned up the disquieting conclusion that the majority of injuries to young children are not the result of physical abuse. Rather, they are unintentional injuries including suffocation, being burned, ingestion of harmful substances, mainly resulting from inadequate supervision.
"Persistent references to tragic, freak, and horrible accidents indicate there is still important work needed to frame unintentional injuries as preventable," Schnitzer said. "Understanding and addressing social norms about the circumstances for child injuries - such as safe sleep environments for infants and the use of car seats, helmets and other safety devices - is important to creating effective prevention strategies."