Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Injury prevention and the attainment of child and adolescent health

Alison Harvey, Elizabeth Towner, Margie Peden, Hamid Soori & Kidist Bartolomeos

Urgent attention is required to tackle the problem of child and adolescent injury across the world. There have been considerable shifts in the epidemiological patterns of child deaths; while great progress has been made in preventing infectious diseases, the exposure of children and adolescents to the risks of injury appear to be increasing and will continue to do so in the future. The issue of injuries is too often absent from child and adolescent health agendas. In December 2008, WHO and the United Nations Children’s Fund published the World report on child injury prevention, calling global attention to the problem of child injuries. This article expands on the report’s arguments that child injuries must be integrated into child health initiatives and proposes initial steps for achieving this integration.