Each year, injuries, one of the principal public health problems in America, cause more than 150 000 deaths, one in eight short-term care hospital admissions, and more than 80 000 permanently disabling conditions. Among children aged 1 to 19 years, injuries cause more deaths than all diseases combined and are a leading cause of disability. Injuries destroy the health, lives, and livelihoods of millions of people. Injury prevention and control are beginning to receive a high priority in the United States.
In 1986, more than 22 000 children aged 0 to 19 years died of injuries in the United States. These injuries included deaths from motor vehicle crashes, homicides, suicides, drownings, and fires and burns. Each year, an estimated 600 000 children are hospitalized for injuries, and almost 16 million children are seen in emergency departments for their injuries.
It is estimated that more than 30 000 children suffer permanent