Pediatric injury prevention: Epidemiology, history, and application
- Anne C Gill, DrPH, MS, RN
Anne C Gill, DrPH, MS, RN
- Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Medical Ethics
- Baylor College of Medicine
- Nancy R Kelly, MD, MPH
Nancy R Kelly, MD, MPH
- Professor of Pediatrics
- University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas
Injuries are a leading cause of death for infants and children in the United States and around the world . Treated as diseases, both intentional and unintentional injuries are cured by prevention. The clinician's role in injury prevention includes education, instruction, and even advocating for changes to improve child safety [2,3].
Pediatric injuries are such a significant healthcare problem that major authorities, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the US Preventive Services Task Force, have issued recommendations that injury prevention counseling be provided as a part of the well-child exam [2,4-6]. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) developed a policy statement recommending age- and locale-appropriate injury prevention anticipatory guidance for all infants, children, and adolescents . Although the contributing factors for intentional injuries (ie, gun-shot wounds, assault) differ from those for unintentional injuries, many of the principles of injury prevention are the same .
The epidemiology of pediatric injuries, historical trends, and principles of injury control are reviewed here. Evidence-based interventions for specific mechanisms of injury are discussed separately.
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