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Becoming a safety conscious parent is about developing an awareness of the dangers that exist out there, and then using the information to take prudent steps to reduce the risk without getting overly paranoid, fearful, or overprotective.

What are the odds of a child being injured or killed in an accident?

So what are the realistic odds of your child being injured or killed during their childhood? Well, just take a look. You may be surprised at just how often it actually happens. Accidental childhood deaths rarely make the news, but outnumber kidnapping victims by more than 100 to 1. Serious injuries are even more common than deaths, and also more neglected when it comes to public awareness. Yet don’t forget that some of these injuries permanently disable the child. Below are some alarming facts to help you realize just how important safety measures are.

Statistics on childhood accident, injuries, and deaths

In any given year . . .

  • Accidental injury is the leading cause of death among children in the United States.
  • There are around 380,000 residential structure fires in the United States.
  • About 800,000 children are reported missing.
  • Approximately 5,000 children are injured each year from fireworks.
  • Approximately 15 children die, and another 200,000 children visit hospital emergency rooms due to playground injuries.
  • Around 100 children are abducted and killed at the hands of a stranger or acquaintance.
  • Accidental injuries cost the public about $480 Billion dollars annually on hospital and other related expenses.
  • The poison control center receives about 1.1 million reports of unintentional poisoning for children 5 and under.
  • There are approximately 33,000 sledding related injuries that require emergency room visits.
  • Approximately 50,000 children under 16 are seriously injured in skiing accidents.
  • Around 150,000 children are treated in hospital emergency rooms for toy related injuries.
  • Nearly 2000 children under age 14 die in home-related accidents. Around 80% of these are age 4 and under.
  • Around 3.4 million emergency room visits due to home accidents or injuries each year.
  • Approximately 60 children are killed in accidental firearm deaths, and several hundred more injured.
  • Around 1800 children die in auto accidents.
  • Around 700 youngsters are struck and killed by a car in pedestrian accidents.
  • Another 40,000 are treated each year in emergency rooms for pedestrian-car accidents.
  • Drowning claims the lives of as many as 1,000 children per year, and another 4,000-5,000 drown and survive, but often suffer permanent damage.
  • 1 in 14 students suffer medically treated injuries while at school.
  • Around a dozen children will die due to toy related injuries, and another 150,000 are treated in hospital emergency rooms.
  • Around 1,000 kids choke to death each year.
  • Most experts estimate that as many as 60-95 percent of these deaths could have and should have been prevented, with information and simple safety precautions that are available to parents today.

Child Safety is an Investment, not a Chore

Consider the previous numbers to yourself while remembering that each of these statistics are yearly incidents. Mentally multiply these numbers by 18 (the number of years it will take your child to reach adulthood), and then consider the payoffs of safety training and prevention. Safety training makes up for itself in both time and money with the prevention of just one of those incidents. Not to mention the added peace of mind that comes from protecting your child from the most serious and deadly of those potential outcomes.

Safety training with your children is not a chore, it is an investment, and one which will pay off handsomely. You can spend a little bit of time training your kids in safety, and a little bit of money to upgrade your child’s environment. Or, if you choose, you can spend that time and money down the road, sitting in an emergency room and paying ambulance and hospital bills. The choice is yours.

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