New CDC Study: About 1 in 5 Deaths is Due to Injury

The injury death rate among children dropped nearly 30 percent over the last decade. However, injury is still the #1 cause of death among children. Common causes of deaths from child injuries include motor vehicle crashes, suffocation, drowning, poisoning, fires and burns, and falls.

Though rates for most causes of child injuries have been declining, suffocation rates are on the rise, driven by a 54 percent increase in reported cases among infants less than one year old. Poisoning death rates also went up, largely due to a 91 percent increase in deaths among teens aged 15-19 that were mainly caused by prescription drug overdoses.

How can parents and caregivers help prevent children from being fatally injured?

Most injuries are preventable. CDC has prevention tips for six leading causes of injury, as well as resources for parents and caregivers to help them protect the children they love.

Prevention tips include the following:



Motor Vehicle Crashes




To find information about the “Protect the Ones You Love” initiative, visit

*For this study, deaths from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome were not included. The reported increase in infant suffocation may be, in part, due to improved death scene investigations of what might previously have been coded as a SIDS death. We don’t believe that this explains all of the increase. In 2009 we lost almost 1,000 infants to suffocation which is entirely preventable with measures that are possible today.