Media Release | New Zealand’s Child Injury Stats Revealed

Close to 40,000 children in New Zealand were admitted to hospital due to preventable injuries over a five year period (2008-2012).

Safekids Aotearoa has created infographics of recent unintentional and intentional child injury statistics available for each DHB area in the country.

As a nation, the majority or 97% of all child hospital admissions were classified as ‘unintentional Injuries’ – these include incidents such as motor vehicle crashes, falls and drowning. This is in contrast to assaults (1%) or self-harm (1%).

Falls-related injury is the leading cause of hospital admissions. ‘Boys’ are the most at risk. In terms of type of injury, ‘fractures’ and ‘open wounds’ featured highly throughout each DHB area. 

For deaths during the 2006-2010 period, ‘suffocation’ (which includes SUDI) is the number one killer for most DHB regions, followed by ‘motor vehicle traffic crashes’.

Safekids Aotearoa Director Ann Weaver says the figures are alarming. “Every week on average around 150 children in New Zealand are hospitalised with serious injuries from an unintentional injury, and a further 1 to 2 children are killed the same way.”

“We hope that these infographics can be used by DHBs to work with injury prevention stakeholders across the country, delivering evidence based interventions that include falls injury prevention campaigns, safe sleeping education and child restraint programmes.

“All DHBs need to do their part to ensure children enjoy a life free from the adverse effects of unintentional injury and that they grow to their full potential,” Ms Weaver added. 

The data is designed as a quick and easy guide to understanding current child injury trends. The infographics will be shared with all District Heath Boards and are available online here.