Children and Youth in British Columbia: Injury by Ages and Stages, 2003-2007

Injury is the leading cause of death among Canadian children and youth, and comprises a considerable proportion of hospital and emergency department visits. There are approximately 969,198 children and youth ages 0 to 19 years currently residing in British Columbia (BC). One child or youth is killed every three to four days and 18 are hospitalized daily due to injury. Unintentional injury is the leading cause of mortality and hospitalization among children in BC. Inflicted injury contributes 14 percent to the overall number of injuries. The prevalence of injury is unacceptable, particularly as the majority of injuries are preventable!

Children and youth deserve special attention as they are our future and deserve a healthy and safe environment. It is our collective responsibility to protect them from injury due to their vulnerability and the inability to anticipate potential hazards.

The purpose of this report is to highlight the burden of injury among the children and youth of BC, provide the available evidence for prevention strategies, and comment on the implications for policy and practice. This report also celebrates the positive fact that the prevalence of injuries continues to decrease as demonstrated in the previous report produced in 2005.

Injuries among children and youth vary by ages and stages. Just as the nature and location of injury vary with developmental stage, the factors highlighted for prevention must vary accordingly. This report describes the unique patterns for cause and type of injury by age groups, as well as age‐appropriate prevention measures.

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