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International comparisons of child injuries and prevention programs: recommendations for an improved prevention program in Germany


Objectives—To compare child injury mortality in Germany with that of four neighboring countries, and to examine injury prevention models in these countries with a view to improving prevention programs in Germany.

Methods—Based on official cause of death certificates, child injury mortality rates in Germany are compared with those of Austria, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland. The main structures and funding of injury prevention programs in these countries are described.

Results—In all five countries, mortality is highest among children aged 1–4 years for home and leisure accidents and drownings. Transport accidents are the main cause of death in the 5–14 age group. Mortality in both age groups has fallen significantly since 1980, most markedly in Sweden and the Netherlands.

Conclusion—Drawing on the injury mortality data and experience of the comparison countries, the following recommendations are proposed to further reduce home and leisure injuries among children in Germany: (1) establish a soundly funded, central institution responsible for child injury surveillance, research, and the coordination of injury prevention activities, (2) improve product control legislation, and (3) disseminate specific safety information to target groups and the general public.

  • child injury mortality
  • international comparisons
  • prevention programs

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