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Statistics: Risks Our Kids Face

Children’s Emergencies in Australia

Injuries are the leading cause of death in Australian children, accounting for nearly half of all deaths. One in 13 children visit hospitals for injuries and emergencies every year.

  • More children die of injury than die of cancer, asthma and infectious diseases combined1.
  • Each year over 250 Australian children (aged 0-14 years) are killed and 58,000 hospitalised by unintentional injuries – the kind often referred to as accidents.  Many of these are easily prevented by simple means.
  • Unintentional injuries account for about 88% of all injury related deaths2 in children and about 97% of all injury related hospitalisations3.
  • Boys are more likely than girls to experience and die as a result of an injury.4
In Australian homes each year5:
  • 350 children are killed by accidents
  • Over 150,000 children visit hospital emergency rooms
  • 38,000 children visit hospitals with crushes or glass cuts
  • Over 5,000 children are hospitalised due to falls in their home
  • 30 children drown at home
  • 2,000 children are hospitalised due to poisoning
  • 1,000 children are hospitalised due to burns
  • 1,500 children are hospitalised following finger jams (many resulting in amputation).
Most common emergencies for babies and toddlers6:
  • Choking
  • Breathing difficulties, such as asthma and croup
  • Burns and Scalds
  • Cuts and Bruises
  • Febrile convulsions
  • Unconscious or not breathing
Most common causes of childhood injuries6:
  • Falls
  • Road accidents, such as running out into traffic
  • Poisoning
  • Burns and scalds

1.         Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006c, Causes of Death, 2004, cat no. 3303.0, ABS, Canberra.
2.         AIHW: Henley G and Harrison JE (2009). Injury deaths, Australia 2004–05. Injury research and statistics series no 51. (Cat. no. INJCAT 127). Adelaide: AIHW.
         AIHW: Kreisfeld R & Harrison JE 2010. Hospital separations due to injury and poisoning 2005–06. Injury research and statistics series no. 55. Cat. no. INJCAT 131. Canberra: AIHW.
         ABS, 2006
         (Statistics courtesy of Kidsafe)
         The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2009 report