The Top 5 Leading Causes of Death for Children 5 to 14 in High Income Countries

  Cause of Death Number of Deaths Percentage of Total
1 Road Traffic Injuries 4,125 36.25%
2 Leukemia 1,221 9.85%
3 Drowning 1,102 9.68%
4 Interpersonal Violence 715 6.28%
5 Self-inflicted Injuries 654 5.74%
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 Special Report
  1. The leading causes of death from unintentional injury among children are road traffic injuries. Most of these deaths are preventable and a major factor is the under-utilization of seat belts and child restraints. Mandatory use of child restraints can reduce child deaths by 35%. Road traffic injuries and self inflicted injuries are the leading causes of injury-related death worldwide. Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of accidental child injuries in South Africa. In the United States, approximately 14 percent of children ages 14 and under ride unrestrained. Riding unrestrained is the greatest risk factor for death and injury among child occupants of motor vehicles. Among children ages 14 and under killed as occupants in motor vehicle crashes in the United States in 2002, 50 percent were not using safety restraints at the time of the collision. In 2002, 22 percent of all traffic deaths among children ages 14 and under in the U.S. involved alcohol. Of the children killed in alcohol-related crashes, more than half were passengers in vehicles with drunk drivers. Child restraint use decreases as both the age of the child and the blood alcohol level of the child's driver increase.
  2. The risks of childhood leukemia are increased two-to-five-fold if, during their mother's pregnancies, their fathers worked with spray paints, dyes or pigments. Children of workers handling chemical carcinogens have sharply increase cancer rates. In the United States The incidence of Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia among 1- to 4-year-old children is more than 9 times greater than the rate for young adults ages 20-24.
  3. Among the various age groups, children under five years of age have the highest drowning mortality rates worldwide, however Canada and New Zealand are exceptions, where adult males have the highest rates of drowning. Drowning in young children is often associated with a lapse in supervision. In 2000, drowning was the leading cause of injury death to children aged 1-14 years in China, and was the second leading cause of unintentional injury death in children aged 1-14 in the United States. In 2000, an estimated 409,272 people drowned, which makes drowning the second leading cause of unintentional injury death after road traffic injuries. 97% of drownings in the year 2000 occurred in low- and middle-income countries.
  4. According to the statistics gathered by the WHO Global Burden of Disease project for 2000, more than 1,659,000 people died due to interpersonal violence that year (includes homicides, Suicides, and war-related deaths) and millions more suffered the effects of non-fatal violence. Interpersonal violence or “ violence between individuals in families and communities - is considered to be a serious public health problem. According to the study, the vast majority of these deaths occurred in low- to middle-income countries and less than 10% of all violence-related deaths occurred in high-income countries. Nearly half of these 1.6 million violence-related deaths were suicides, almost one-third were homicides and about one-fifth were war-related. Violence exacts both a human and an economic toll on nations, and costs economies many billions of US dollars each year in health care, legal costs, absenteeism from work and lost productivity.
  5. 815,000 people kill themselves worldwide every year, roughly one person every 40 seconds. For people aged 15-44 years, self-inflicted injuries are the fourth leading cause of death globally. Studies suggest that there are on average 20 attempted suicides for every completed suicide.
Tags: Health Statistics, High Income Countries

Sources:  WHO report: Injury, a Leading Cause of the Global Burden of Disease 2000.

List Notes: All Statistics are for the year 2000. This WHO study combines mortality and health data from national vital registration systems with information obtained from surveys, censuses,epidemiological studies and health service data.
Leading Causes of Death for Children 5 to 14 in High Income Countries

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