Children and road traffic injuries: can't the world do better?

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Abstract

Road traffic injuries (RTI) impose a substantial health burden among children. Globally, 186 300 children (under 18 years) die from RTI each year. It is the fourth leading cause of death among children aged 5–9 years, third among children aged 10–14 years and first among children aged 15–17 years. At the regional level, sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 35.2% of global child deaths caused by RTI; that number is still increasing. Male children are about two times more likely to die due to RTI than female children. RTI are also related to socioeconomic inequalities; low-income and middle-income countries (LMIC) account for 95% of global child RTI deaths, and children from poor households are more likely to fall victims to RTI. Intervention strategies promoted in the five pillars of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011–2020 are available to prevent mortality and morbidity caused by RTI, though validation and implementation of such interventions are urgently needed in the LMIC. Through concerted efforts to cultivate strong political will, build action and advocacy capacity, increase global funding and enhance multisectoral collaboration promoted by the Sustainable Development Goals, the world is challenged to do better in saving children from RTI.

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