While the definition of a child is culturally determined and variable, this entry uses the definition adopted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of the Child—that is, someone below the age of 18 years. What were once referred to as “accidents” are now referred to as injuries. Injuries are not the result of “accidents” or acts of fate; injuries to children and adolescents result from events that are both predictable and preventable.

An unintentional injury is defined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as “damage to the body resulting from acute exposure to thermal, mechanical, electrical, or chemical energy or from the absence of such essentials as heat or oxygen.” Unintentional injuries include injuries from ...

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