Startling news research has revealed the most common cause of death for children in Australia — and it might come as a shock for parents.
A landmark study from health and medical researchers found that injury was the number one cause of death for children aged 16 and under. About 149 children are killed and 680,000 hospitalised as a result of injuries each year, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
The study from researchers from the University of Sydney, Macquarie University and Australian Catholic University looked at injury-related hospitalisations between 2002-2012.
“Injury is the leading cause of death of children aged 1 to 16 years in Australia. Injury happens in the blink of an eye and can be lifechanging,” the researhers explain in the report.
“An injured child often experiences ongoing limitations related to their physical abilities, chronic pain and psychological issues.”
The research found that falls were the most common cause of injury for children. Playground equipment was a major culprit, with over 55,000 children hospitalised in the 10 year period as a result of playground falls.
The report also showed that sporting activities were the most commonly reported activity responsible for child injury, while the home was the most common place injuries took place.
Children had a higher risk of death from their injuries if they lived in regional or remote areas of Australia.
The researchers have called on the federal government to establish a national agency to coordinate an injury prevention plan, AAP reports.
"With injury continuing to represent a substantial burden to the Australian community and as it is the highest cause of death and hospitalisation in Australian children aged one to six years, the development of a current national injury prevention strategy in Australia is long overdue,” the report states.