EUGLOREH project
THE STATUS OF HEALTH IN THE EUROPEAN UNION:
TOWARDS A HEALTHIER EUROPE

FULL REPORT

PART II - HEALTH CONDITIONS

7. ACCIDENTS AND INJURIES AND RELATED TIME TRENDS: PREVALENCE, INCIDENCE AND MORTALITY

7.4. Data discussion

7.4.1. Safety of children and adolescents

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7.4.1. Safety of children and adolescents

 

Children and adolescents have been chosen as a priority because injuries and their disabling consequences have a tremendous impact on health in this age group:

 

The share of fatal injuries is higher in very young ages (Figure 7.18). Injury is the leading cause of death for children, adolescents and young adults between 1 to 24 years of age. The annual death toll for this age group is estimated as 26000 cases in the EU27. For every death that occurs due to injury another 50 children and youths are admitted to hospital with a traumatic injury. Another 800 cases are treated at the accident and emergency departments. This means that estimated  21 million children and youths are being treated in medical centres for traumatic injuries each year (Working Group of Governmental Experts on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion, 2008).

 

Figure 7.18. Injury death in % of all deaths per age group, EU27

 

Deaths of children and teenagers are in particular tragic losses, both for the families and the ageing EU societies. Motor vehicle accidents, drowning and accidents caused by fire and flames are the top three causes of injury deaths in children (Figure 7.19.A).

 

Figure 7.19.a. Fatal injuries by cause of death, 1-4 years of age

 

According to these figures, actions should tackle severe injury hazards for preschool children at home (falls, scalds, suffocation, poisoning, drowning), playground safety and safety of child products, the usage of car restrain systems and bicycle helmets amongst older children.

 

The “European Child Safety Alliance” (www.childsafetyeurope.org) is propelling for national action plans on child safety (MacKay & Vincenten, 2007); it has also issued a “Good practice guide” (MacKay et al, 2006), and is providing materials for European campaigns as against drowning or domestic accidents.

 

Link to the project:

http://www.eurosafe.eu.com/csi/eurosafe2006.nsf/wwwVwContent/l2europeanchildsafetyalliance.htm

 

Safety of adolescents

Regarding adolescents and young adults: ,over 62 million young people aged 1524 live in the EU representing 15% of the total population. Every year more than 20 000 people in this age group die due to injuries (Kumpala & Paavola 2008); this figure represents 65% of all young people’s deaths (Table 7.2. Leading cause of death per age group, EU27). Traffic accidents and are the most common causes for injury deaths (Figure 7.19.B).

 

Figure 7.19.b. Fatal injuries by causes of death, 15-24 years of age

 

The AdRiskProject is dealing with the injury risk of young people and has prepared a European situation analysis regarding injuries and risk taking, a good practice guide, a strategy, and framework for action, and tools for campaigning (www.adrisk.eu.com). Special focus is on high risk groups prone to taking excessive risks. Thus, policy development and implementation tools are currently being produced and tested in pilot countries. Ultimately, the project will support the implementation of country programmes and activities that should contribute to reducing the high toll of injuries among adolescents in EU Member States and candidate countries (Working Party of Governmental Experts on Accidents and Injury Prevention, 2007).

 

Link to the project:

www.adrisk.eu.com