Fatal unintentional injuries in the home in the U.S., 2000-2008

Am J Prev Med. 2013 Mar;44(3):239-46. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2012.10.022.


Background: From 1992 to 1999, an average of more than 18,000 unintentional home injury deaths occurred in the U.S. annually.

Purpose: The objective of this study was to provide current prevalence estimates of fatal unintentional injury in the home.

Methods: Data from the 2000-2008 National Vital Statistics System were used in 2011 to calculate average annual rates for unintentional home injury deaths for the U.S. overall, and by mechanism of injury, gender, and age group.

Results: From 2000 to 2008, there was an annual average of 30,569 unintentional injury deaths occurring in the home environment in the U.S. (10.3 deaths per 100,000). Poisonings (4.5 per 100,000) and falls (3.5 per 100,000) were the leading causes of home injury deaths. Men/boys had higher rates of home injury death than women/girls (12.7 vs 8.2 per 100,000), and older adults (≥80 years) had higher rates than other age groups. Home injury deaths and rates increased significantly from 2000 to 2008.

Conclusions: More than 30,000 people die annually in the U.S. from unintentional injuries at home, with the trend rising since the year 2000. The overall rise is due in large part to the dramatic increase in deaths due to poisonings, and to a lesser degree falls at home. Unintentional home injuries are both predictable and preventable. Through a multifaceted approach combining behavioral change, adequate supervision of children, installation and maintenance of safety devices, and adherence to building codes, safety regulations and legislation, home injuries can be reduced.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Home / classification
  • Accidents, Home / mortality*
  • Accidents, Home / prevention & control
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Sex Factors
  • Wounds and Injuries / classification
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / mortality*
  • Young Adult