Injury is the leading cause of death for children under 15
according to Australia's Children: Their Health and Wellbeing
1998 to be released on Thursday by the Australian Institute of
Health and Welfare. Motor vehicle accidents, drowning and
pedestrian accidents are the major causes of childhood injury
deaths and boys have a higher death rate than girls.
Injury is also the second most common reason for hospital
admissions for under 15 year olds (after respiratory conditions
like asthma), and boys were hospitalised more than girls-at double
the rate for girls from 10-14 years.
During 1996-97, injuries caused over 68,000 hospitalisations
(1,800 for every 100,000 children) with the most common causes
being accidental falls, followed by accidental poisoning.
Australia's Children: Their Health and Wellbeing 1998,
the first national report to focus entirely on the health of
Australian children, includes information-much of it not previously
published-on major risk factors and wider health and wellbeing
determinants, as well as information on injuries and important
diseases. It also includes separate sections about the health of
some priority groups, including Indigenous children, children
living in rural and remote locations, overseas-born children, and
children from socioeconomically disadvantaged groups.
Indigenous identification is reliable enough for reporting on
children's health in South Australia, Western Australia and the
Northern Territory. Co-author of the report, Ms Lynelle Moon, said
'Combined data for these states show that between 1991 and 1996 the
death rate for Indigenous infants under 1 year old was 3 times
higher than that for other Australian infants.'
The report also shows where children's health has improved. Ms
Moon said that 'there's been a steady downward trend in infant
death rates over the past 10 years to 5 female deaths per 1,000
live births in 1996, and just over 6 male deaths per 1,000 live
births in 1995. The death rates for 1-14 year olds also declined
during the same period. The falls are largely due to declines in
the number of deaths from injury and from Sudden Infant Death
Other findings in the report include:
14 January 1999
Further information: Lynelle Moon, ph. 02 6244
1155.For media copies of the report: Publications
Officer, AIHW, ph. 02 6244 1032.Availability: Check the AIHW for details.
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