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CDC’s MMWR on Years of Potential Life Lost from Child Injuries AND National Action Plan - Project Up
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CDC’s MMWR on Years of Potential Life Lost from Child Injuries AND National Action Plan - Project Updates

Dear Colleague:

We know that child injuries are an enormous public health problem in the U.S. We’d like to share with you recent examples of how CDC’s Injury Center and our partners are helping to address the issue of child injury prevention.

An article published in this week’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) is the first to quantify years of potential life lost (YPLL) due to child injuries. YPLL is a useful measure to highlight causes of premature death and identify specific groups in need of intervention. The authors examined YPLL among children and adolescents ages 0-19 in the U.S. from 2000-2009.

Key findings from the study:

  • Total Burden: Each year, an average of 890 years of potential life were lost because of unintentional injuries for every 100,000 children and adolescents.
  • Types of Injury: Motor vehicle crash-related injuries contributed 55% of all YPLL. The second leading YPLL contributor was suffocation, followed by drowning.
  • Risk Groups: The burden of unintentional injuries was higher among males, adolescents aged 15-19 years, and American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) children.
  • State Variability: Two clusters of adjacent states had the highest rates: the South Central states (Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama) and the Mountain states (Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota).

The new information in this report can help us better target child injury prevention strategies.

Earlier this year the Injury Center and more than 60 partner organizations released the National Action Plan for Child Injury Prevention. The Plan’s overall goals are to raise awareness about the problem of child injury and the effects on our nation, offer solutions by uniting stakeholders around a common set of goals and strategies, and mobilize action to reduce child injury and death.

In order to spark action, the Injury Center recently funded nine projects as part of the National Action Plan for Child Injury Prevention Implementation Project. These projects were selected because they will strengthen collaboration of key stakeholders, provide tools for the field to improve data and consistency in program execution, showcase the promise of evidence-based programs on high burden topics, and build capacity in hospital settings and among employer networks:

  • American College of Preventive Medicine – “Developing and Testing an Infant and Early Childhood Injury Risk Assessment Tool for Home Visitation Staff'”
  • Child Injury Prevention Alliance – “National Collaboration to Promote Child Injury Prevention”
  • Children’s Hospital Association – “Hospital-based Safety Centers: Data Collection to Improve Intervention”
  • Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin – “Childhood Injury Prevention: Community data, Community Prevention”
  • Eastern Virginia Medical School – “Professional Training in the Use of Empirically Supported Interventions for Children’s Motor Vehicle Safety”
  • Education Development Center, Inc. – “Engaging Health Plans in Child Injury Prevention”
  • National Safety Council – “Linking Employers to Tools to Educate Parents and Caregivers”
  • Safe Kids – “Every Breath Matters: Reducing Infant Suffocation Deaths in the U.S.”
  • Society for the Advancement of Violence and Injury Research – “Harmonizing Child Unintentional Injury Research through Shared Instrumentation”

We congratulate these recipients and look forward to working with them and all of our partners to further the work of the National Action Plan and help children grow up free from injury.

Grant T. Baldwin, PhD, MPH
Director, Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention


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