Injuries Cause Over One-Third of Children's ER Visits

An image of a teen boy
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More than one-third of visits to emergency departments by U.S. children are related to injuries, a new report finds.

Researchers discovered that in 2009 and 2010 children and adolescents ages 18 and under visited emergency departments an average of 11.9 million times yearly. That means injury-related visits constituted 35 percent of the total 33.7 million yearly ER visits by U.S. children, according to the report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The data in the report came from an annual survey of a nationally representative sample of hospitals, conducted by the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics. [9 Weird Ways Kids Can Get Hurt]

The main causes of the injuries that brought children to emergency departments included falls and getting struck by an object or person, the report said.

There were fewer injury-related ED visits among 5- to 12-years-olds compared with kids ages 4 and under, or kids in their teens. In every age group, more boys visited emergency departments because of injuries than girls, according to the report.

Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) paid for about 42 percent of the visits, and private insurance paid for about 41 percent of the visits. Kids who lacked insurance made about 8.6 percent of the injury-related visits.

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Staff Writer