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Rx Drugs Kill More Kids Than Car Accidents

by Christine Show

The percentage of children and teenagers being killed in an accident has dropped while the the amount of young people dying from prescription drug overdoses has spiked.

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The death rate for children 19 and younger has tumbled 30 per cent from 2000 to 2009, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Meanwhile, accidental poisonings for that age group jumped up by 80 per cent.

The centers didn't examine what specifically may have caused the decline in deaths from falls, fires and other accidents.

The number of deaths lowered from about 12,400 to 9,100.

A decrease in traffic fatalities among the young contributed to the drop.

While crashes usually make up half or more of accident deaths in children every year, there was a 42 per cent overall drop during the period studied by the centers.

The CDC warned, though, that accidents still remain the number one cause of death for children from ages one to 19.

A child dies every hour from various accidents, said Ileana Arias, of the CDC, to the Huffington Post.

She said: 'We've made progress, and because we've made progress our children are safer than ever before.'

But deaths from prescription drug overdoses are a major concern, especially in older teenagers.

There were 824 deaths from accidental poisonings in 2009.
Around half of those recent deaths were of overdoses of prescription drugs from people ages 15 to 19.

CDC officials see a trend in youth using prescription drugs that can be easily accessible in their homes as the medications are often prescribed to parents.

The pills seem to be replacing marijuana as an escape for young people, according to CDC officials.

A third type of death that is on the rise are suffocation deaths, which rose to 54 per cent.

That resulted in 1,160 children who died in 2009.

Nearly 1,000 of those deaths were of babies one years old and younger.

In an overall account of children deaths, the CDC also did a state-by-state comparison.

Most of the states saw declines in the percentage of children dying from particular types of deaths.

Delaware, Iowa, Virginia and Oregon had the biggest declines.

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