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Injury Deaths - Children
Injury Deaths - Children in United States
United States

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United States Value:


Number of deaths due to injury per 100,000 children ages 1-19

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Injury Deaths - Children by State

Number of deaths due to injury per 100,000 children ages 1-19

Injury Deaths - Children Trends

Number of deaths due to injury per 100,000 children ages 1-19

Trend: Injury Deaths - Children in United States, 2023 Health Of Women And Children Report

Number of deaths due to injury per 100,000 children ages 1-19

United States

 CDC WONDER, Multiple Cause of Death Files

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About Injury Deaths - Children

US Value: 17.4

Top State(s): Massachusetts: 7.5

Bottom State(s): Alaska: 32.9

Definition: Number of deaths due to injury per 100,000 children ages 1-19

Data Source and Years: CDC WONDER, Multiple Cause of Death Files, 2019-2021

Suggested Citation: America's Health Rankings analysis of CDC WONDER, Multiple Cause of Death Files, United Health Foundation,, accessed 2023.

Accidents, or unintentional injuries, are the leading cause of death among U.S. children and teens. In 2020, firearm-related injuries — mainly homicides — surpassed motor vehicle accidents to become the leading cause of death among children ages 1-19, with nearly a 30% increase from 2019. Over the same period, drug overdose and poisoning deaths increased nearly 84% and were the third-leading cause of child mortality in 2020. 

Suicide is also a serious concern among children and teens. It is the second-leading cause of death among children ages 10-14 and third among those ages 15-19. Recently, there has been an increase in deaths by suicide among children, teenagers and young adults.

The economic cost associated with injury is high, estimated in 2019 at $369 billion for those ages 0-14 and $512 billion for those ages 15-24.

According to America’s Health Rankings data, the prevalence of deaths due to injury is higher among:

  • Children ages 15-19 than younger children.
  • Boys than girls.
  • American Indian/Alaska Native and Black children, who both have a prevalence more than four times the rate of non-Hispanic Asian children, the group with the lowest prevalence.

Additional research has found that unintentional injury deaths are higher among children living in rural areas and those living in high-poverty counties.

To combat injury as the leading cause of child mortality, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed a National Action Plan for Child Injury Prevention to raise awareness about child injury, highlight prevention solutions and mobilize action to reduce this under-recognized public health problem. 

The CDC also lists effective and promising youth violence prevention strategies, including universal school-based programs — recommended by the Community Preventive Services Task Force as well — to reduce violence. The CDC partners with 23 state health departments to address issues related to injury and violence through the Core State Violence and Injury Prevention Program. This program has produced multiple successful state actions regarding suicide, adverse childhood experiences and traumatic brain injury as well as motor vehicle injury deaths.

Healthy People 2030 has the following goals related to injury deaths:

  • Reducing the rate of deaths among children and adolescents. 
  • Reducing suicide attempts by adolescents. 
  • Reducing fatal injuries.
  • Reducing unintentional injury deaths.
  • Reducing overdose deaths involving opioids. 
  • Reducing deaths from motor vehicle crashes.
  • Reducing firearm-related deaths.

Goldstick, Jason E., Rebecca M. Cunningham, and Patrick M. Carter. “Current Causes of Death in Children and Adolescents in the United States.” New England Journal of Medicine 386, no. 20 (May 19, 2022): 1955–56.

Karb, Rebecca A., S. V. Subramanian, and E. W. Fleegler. “County Poverty Concentration and Disparities in Unintentional Injury Deaths: A Fourteen-Year Analysis of 1.6 Million U.S. Fatalities.” PLOS ONE 11, no. 5 (2016): e0153516.

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