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Rick Shapiro
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Why Is Accidental Injury–Not Disease–Hong Kong’s Leading Cause of Death for Children (And What We Can Learn From This)

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Accidental injury has been recorded as the leading cause of death for children in Hong Kong, amazing as that statistic may seem. Pediatricians there are pleading with parents to take note of hazards at home as most such kid’s accidents/injuries can be prevented. Amazingly, its not diseases that are the leading cause of kid’s deaths there.

In the excitement of vacationing in Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills or Nags Head, North Carolina (NC) parents can be caught unaware and their children can be more prone to "home" accidents in unfamiliar surroundings such as a rented condo or vacation homes with a pool or nearby busy highway. These different environments are interesting to kids, but pose special risks, and parents must review and caution kids in such new settings.

Parents often worry about the dangers that their children face in the outside world, but it turns out the greatest risk may be at home and we in northeast NC can learn from Hong Kong’s situation. Dr Chan Chok-Wan, chairman, Hong Kong Pediatric Foundation, said: "The home, while it’s sweet, may not necessarily be the safest place in the world. We have to be proactive, looking for traps that may cause accidents."

Accidental injury, at home and especially on vacation, has been singled out as the leading cause of death for children in Hong Kong, claiming the lives of 170 children a year. "Each year, only 30 children die of childhood cancers. So, death due to accidents is a very serious problem," Dr. Chok-Wan added.

According to a joint study by the Hong Kong Pediatric Foundation and the Rotary Club District 3450, 25 per cent of children injured at home end up being sent to the hospital. 74 per cent of parents surveyed agreed that the injuries were preventable.

It has been shown that children injure themselves when they bump into objects like tables, fall off couches or beds, or slip on slippery surfaces such as the bathroom floor. Instead of keeping restless kids cooped up at home, doctors recommend taking them outside to the playground where kids can use some of their extra energy, and hopefully stay out of harm’s way. Many injuries to children are “being kids” type injuries, but when kid’s injuries are caused by a careless or negligent business or a defective or faulty product, a claim may be possible against the careless business or party. Also, following good safety practices within your family can help reduce general risks. Talk to your kids and review all the rules relating to the new "vacation" place where you are staying, or just review the safety rules where you live.

Our injury law firm maintains a NE NC office in Elizabeth City, and our main law office is in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Four of our law firm’s injury lawyers are licensed to practice law in North Carolina, Virginia, and beyond. For over a decade we have been helping North Carolina residents, and those suffering injuries or wrongful death in NC.

Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm is based in Virginia, with offices in northeast NC and Virginia Beach (VA), practicing primarily in the southeastern U.S. and handles only injury law, including car, truck, railroad, and medical negligence cases and more. The firm’s website is: hsinjurylaw.com, the firm edits three injury law blogs: Virginia Beach Injuryboard & Norfolk Injuryboard, as well as the Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard and also hosts a video library covering many FAQ’s on personal injury subjects.