Other Accidents

Fact Sheet

Accidents due to other causes include poisonings, falls, electrocutions, sport and agricultural injuries and other manners of death in which the cause was unclear to the medical examiner/coroner. In 2012, there were 889 child deaths in the U.S. (0-17) from unintentional injuries not discussed above.

Poisoning deaths are most often due to the inattention of parents or other caregivers. Over-the-counter or prescription medications are the primary source of poisonous substances, and more than 90% of poisonings in the U.S. occur in the home. Other sources of poisoning for children include vitamins with high iron content, household cleaning products and carbon monoxide. Alcohol poisoning is also a risk. The 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Report found that 20.8% of high school students surveyed had had five or more drinks in a row on at least one day during the 30 days before the survey, which is binge drinking.

While falls are the leading cause of non-fatal unintentional injuries and emergency department visits for children under 14 years of age, they are rarely fatal. In 2012, only 78 children (0-17) died from falls.

Electrocutions occur from two primary sources, within the home and outdoors. Indoors, children are at risk for electrocutions from exposed outlets, faulty appliances and incidents in the bathtub. Downed power lines and lightning strikes most often cause outdoor electrocutions.

Major Risk Factors

  • For all categories, a lack of adequate supervision from caregivers.
  • Parent cannot read labels
  • Homes that are not child proofed.
  • Unsafe consumer products including toys and baby products.

Records Needed for Case Review

  • Birth records
  • Pediatric records for well and sick visits
  • Death certificates
  • Emergency Department records
  • Names, ages and genders of other children in home
  • Police reports
  • CPS reports on caregivers and child
  • Autopsy report

Prevention

  • Promote educational programs for parents, childcare providers and children on the issues surrounding safe environments for children, especially the safe storage and dispensing of medication.

Resources