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The rate of nonfatal-injury hospitalizations to children ages 0-18 years, 19-21 years, and 0-21 years per 100,000 age-specific population for selected categories of injury (unintentional, assault, self-inflicted).*

Nonfatal Injury Hospitalization Rate among Children (0-21 yrs) per 100,000, by Calendar Year
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Unintentional Injuries 260.2 250.7 220.5 207.7 199.7 172.8 141.3
Assault Injuries 53.0 45.0 41.8 35.3 33.2 27.8 20.1
Self-Inflicted Injuries 42.3 46.6 48.5 47.1 42.9 43.8 45.6

Data Source: Data compiled by Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Story Behind the Data:

Childhood injuries requiring inpatient hospitalization present risks of long-term illness and disability.  Injuries may be the result of unintentional or intentional events; intentional injuries include assaults and self-inflicted injuries.  From 2008 to 2014, the leading five causes of unintentional injury hospitalizations for Maryland children aged 0 – 21 were motor vehicle accidents (29.3%), falls (22.8%), poisonings (10.4%), choking, suffocation or drowning (5.5%), and natural and environmental factors (5.0%).*  Hospitalizations due to fire and burn injuries represented 1.1% of all injury hospitalizations among Maryland children.

In 2014, there were 2,356 total inpatient hospital discharges for unintentional injury; 335 discharges for injuries due to assault; and 760 discharges for self-inflicted injuries among Maryland children ages 0 – 21 years old. Assault and unintentional injuries decreased across the board from 2008 through 2014, with the rate of hospitalizations due to assault decreasing by 62.1% in that time and the rate due to unintentional injuries falling 45.7%. The rate of self-inflicted injuries is up 20% from 2008.

Although down sixty-two percent from 2008, the rate of injury hospitalizations among Non-Hispanic Black children was the highest rate of assault injury hospitalizations in 2014 at 42.4 per 100,000 population, which was more than six times higher than the rate among both non-Hispanic White and Hispanic children. Non-Hispanic White children had the highest rate of self-inflicted injury hospitalizations at 42.8 per 100,000 population, which was nearly double the rates among non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic children. The increase in self-inflicted injury hospitalizations was due to a fifty percent increase in the rates among Hispanic children. Children aged 19 – 21 years old had the highest rate of unintentional injury hospitalizations in 2014 at 232.2 per 100,000 population followed by infants under age 1 at 207.4 per 100,000 population. Since 2008, the decrease in unintentional injury hospitalizations was greatest among children ages 15 – 18 years old (60.3%).

In 2011, motor vehicle accidents were the second-leading cause of injury-related hospitalizations for children ages 5-14 and the number one cause for those in the 15-24 age bracket.  In order to reduce this rate,** the statewide program, Kids in Safe Seats, provides free inspection of car seat installations and free car seats to those in need and released a PSA in 2014 to educate the public about the importance of ensuring children are properly secured in a motor vehicle. This program, along with other injury prevention programs, is administered by the Environmental Health Bureau at DHMH.


*The unintentional injury category excludes those injuries due to medical procedure and therapeutic drug adverse events.
**Injuries in Maryland: 2010 Statistics on Injury-related Emergency Department Visits, Hospitalizations and Deaths. MD DHMH