Accidental injuries are the leading cause of childhood mortality and disability.1 Both the Surgeon General's Report on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention1 and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's report, “A Program for Prevention in Massachusetts,“2 propose that the reduction of childhood injuries be a major goal in preventive health care. Little progress has been made in controlling accidental injuries, despite the recognized importance of injuries as a cause of childhood morbidity and mortality. There are several reasons for this. First of all, because the word “accident” is used to describe these events, both the public and the health-care profession.
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