Injury is the leading cause of child deaths in Australia, and a major cause of hospitalisation. In Aotearoa New Zealand, unintentional injuries are the third-leading cause of death in children under 14. As children increase in age, their burden of injury increased (5-9 years being an exception). Different injury risks become apparent as children grow and their interactions with environments changes.
While children cannot be entirely protected from potential injury, a substantial proportion of injuries that lead to fatal and non-fatal injuries are preventable.
Australian Child Injury Statistics
During 2015–2017, injuries contributed to 563 deaths of children aged 0–14—a rate of 4.1 per 100,000 children.
The most common causes of injury death are land transport crashes, accidental drowning and assault.
Overall, boys are 1.5 times as likely to be hospitalised for injury than girls.
Falls account for close to half (45.9% or around 30,500) of hospitalised injury cases and are the most common reason for injury hospitalisation of children across all age groups. (Source: AIHW)
Aotearoa New Zealand Child Injury Statistics
In Aotearoa New Zealand:
Around 84 children aged 0 to 14 died each year of unintentional injuries (2006-2010)
On average 7,713 children in this age group were hospitalised each year from non-fatal unintentional injuries between 2008 and 2012
Male children had a higher rate of both death and hospitalisation from unintentional injuries than female children
Māori and Pacific Island children showed disproportionately high rates of injury compared with other ethnic groups
Leading causes of injury deaths were suffocation, motor vehicle traffic crashes, drowning, and non-motor vehicle traffic crashes
In contrast, leading causes of non-fatal hospitalisations were falls (especially from
playground equipment), injuries from inanimate
mechanical forces, and non-motor
vehicle traffic crashed. (Source: SafeKids)