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Child Injury


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. 

Playground Tunnel
Image by Piron Guillaume

Australian Child Injury Statistics

In Australia:

  • 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)

Image by 童 彤
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