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Logo of injprevInjury PreventionVisit this articleVisit this journalSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
Inj Prev. 2007 August; 13(4): 269.
PMCID: PMC2598327

Accidents kill 100 000 Chinese children every year

Accidents are the biggest cause of death for Chinese children under 14 years of age, with 100 000 children dying from accidents every year, says a report released by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention in May. Traffic accidents and drowning are the main causes of death, and slips and animal attacks are the main causes of child injuries, according to the report. The center obtained the results by analyzing children's accident documents published during the past half a century and checking data from the center's disease monitoring stations nationwide. It is estimated that 10.1 million Chinese children are injured every year, but only 8 million see doctors. Accidents are the cause of death of about 101 000 children and the cause of handicaps for 404 000, figures from the report show. However, the report said that China's child death rate had dropped substantially during the past 50 years, from 1.82% in 1957 to 0.2% in 2000. Meanwhile, the infant death rate dropped from 20% in the 1950s to 3.2% in 2000. But there was no obvious drop in the rate between 1991 and 2000. The statistics from the National Working Committee on Children and Women under the State Council show 42.5 million elementary and middle school students are injured every year, inflicting total economic losses of 3.26 billion yuan (US$418 million, €313 million). The committee quoted a survey as saying that 26.1% of children died of accidental injury. “The number is still rising at the rate of 7 percent per year,” it warned, noting that unintentional injury to children has brought about both huge economic loss for the families and irreversible physical and psychological hurt to themselves. The committee blamed rapid urbanization and industrialization and the changes in road, transportation, and urban facilities for the increasing deaths as they increased daily risks for children. China's Ministry of Education has called for local educational departments to step up safety measures and conduct safety training of students and parents to prevent such tragedies from reoccurring.

From China View, Contributed by Flavia Pires.

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