Preventing Childhood Injuries Begins with Understanding the Causes

Harm inflicted upon a child, whether intentional or unintentional, is never acceptable. When a child is physically injured, the ripple effect that follows isn’t always as visible as the initial injury, but the short and long-term results are significant, including school and work absences, medical and rehabilitation care, physical disabilities and emotional trauma. Guided by knowledge and promising actions, there are opportunities to actively and effectively contribute to the prevention of childhood injury.

Top 5 causes

The prevention of childhood injury is a goal of the John Rex Endowment. An early step in our work was the publication of A Profile of Wake County Childhood Injury & Injury Prevention. The profile details local organizations engaged in childhood injury prevention work, and it highlights key data and gaps. It also includes recommendations specific to injury prevention. The foundation's 2014 decision to focus on Wake County’s five leading causes of childhood injury was based on information in the Profile.

The leading causes of childhood injury in Wake County are:

  1. Motor Vehicle Crash - child is an occupant
  2. Assault (i.e., physical/sexual violence, child abuse)
  3. Motor Vehicle Crash - child is a pedestrian
  4. Self-inflicted/Self-harm (i.e., suicide, cutting)
  5. Falls (e.g., playgrounds, homes)

Resources for data and recommended next steps

There are opportunities for public health officials, public safety professionals, school administrators and community members to effectively prevent injuries and create a safe community for children. We encourage you to review and share the following Wake County resources as you develop and incorporate effective prevention measures into your efforts to save lives and keep children safe.

See a few facts about about each of the top five causes of injury to Wake County's children.