ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on May 7th, 2009 at 3:38 am

South Korea Ranks Third in Accident Related Deaths of Children

Non-surprisingly much of this high ranking is due to traffic accidents:


South Korea ranked third among the member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in terms of accident-linked deaths for children, a report showed Wednesday.

South Korea reported that 8.7 out of every 100,000 children under 15 years old died annually at the end of 2005 due to traffic accidents, drowning, falls and other injuries, according to the report by the National Statistical Office.

It is the third highest rate among the 25 member countries of the OECD following Mexico and the United States which reported death rates of 13.6 and 9.2 respectively. The OECD average stood at 5.6, the report showed.

Between 1991 and 1995, South Korea had topped the list in terms of child death rates with 25.6 out of every 100,000 losing lives due to accidents.

Traffic accidents accounted for 42.7 percent of the total deaths, followed by drowning with 20 percent. Falls made up 7.9 percent of deaths, while murder and suicides took up 8.7 percent and 5.3 percent, the report showed.

Accident-linked deaths of children have been dropping since peaking in 1988. In 2007, the number of children’s deaths caused by accidents plunged by a third to 561 compared with a decade ago thanks to a sharp decline in children-involved traffic accidents, according to the report.  [Yonhap]

This number of children deaths actually dropped significantly in 2007 but is on the rise again:

From 1991 through 1995, Korea’s figure stood at 25.6 children out of every 100,000, larger than Mexico’s 19.8 and Portugal’s 17.8. In 2007, the number fell ? by one-third to 6.7 ? though no comparable figures were available for other OECD countries.

From 2005 through 2007, an annual average of 666 children were killed, with boys accounting for 64 percent of the total. Children were more prone to fatal accidents on Sundays, accounting for 16.3 percent of the total. Nearly 8 percent of child deaths happened at 6 p.m. In spring and summer when children are most physically active outdoors, they are more likely to become a victim.

By region, children living in rural areas are more subject to accidental deaths mainly because of poor road safety. By province, about 12.4 children per 100,000 died in South Jeolla, followed by North Gyeongsang with 12.2.  [Korea Times]

I couldn’t find a break down on whether the majority of US accidental deaths of children to compare fatal aciddental trends of children.  Korea has also made strides in reducing fatal traffic accidents by leading the OECD in traffic accidents in 2007 and in 2008 finishing third in fatal traffic accidents.  Only Turkey and Hungary commit more fatal traffic accidents then Korea.  However, Korea’s traffic accidents is still double the OECD average, but traffic safety is generally trending in the right direction.

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  • Unsatisfied LG DACOM
    12:22 am on May 7th, 2009 1

    The USA ranks 2nd, so what's your point? Am I missing something?

  • Tom
    2:04 am on May 7th, 2009 2

    So why is the US number so high? Are they all playing with guns?

  • Not a fun night
    3:19 am on May 7th, 2009 3

    Ok so Mexico is number one so i guess they are going to get killed off soon with swine flu now too. Now as far as Korea goes would fan death be considered an accidental death?

  • ChickenHead
    3:30 am on May 7th, 2009 4

    "The USA ranks 2nd, so what’s your point? Am I missing something?

    Duh… it's all the Mexican and Korean-Americans skewing the statistics… obviously.

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    11:09 am on May 7th, 2009 5

    Maybe you missed the sentence where I said traffic safety in Korea is trending in the right direction, which is good to see?

  • Pete
    11:58 am on May 7th, 2009 6

    Mexico has a problem. I am really suprised that the US is second on this list. If this is correct we need to do something to correct this problem. I would have thought Korea would rank ahead of the US. Several things may come into play here. Mexico may be so high because of poor medical care following accidents. The US may be higher than Korea because of the driving distances and speed driven in the US. Also, a lot of Korean kids are in evening school, after regular school, and this could keep them from accidents.

  • ChickenHead
    1:28 pm on May 7th, 2009 7

    Here is a bit more info…

    It turns out this is old news… a few years ago, Korea was NUMBER ONE by a large margin… due to traffic accidents.

    The reasons each country has high numbers are different.

    Here are some points to consider…

    Korea can blame traffic accidents, lack of carseats and seatbelt use and kids running out from behind parked cars on narrow streets where Delivery Ajashi is hauling balls-to-the-wall in a Bongo.

    There is a correlation between child deaths and poverty. This is evident in Mexico. This is also a factor in the United States where, although people don't like to admit it, large populations live (somewhat by choice) in third-world conditions.

    This ties in with "The likelihood of a child being injured or killed is also associated with single parenthood, low maternal education, low maternal age at

    birth, poor housing, large family size, and parental drug or alcohol abuse." This also describes a large portion of the American population.

    This is a little out of date but many of the statistics have remained consistent.

    zz z

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    2:05 pm on May 7th, 2009 8

    I couldn't find the stats for why the US was so high, so I don't know if it is car accidents. Remember this list is for accidents in general not just traffic related ones. So the US could have a bunch of kids that drown every year in a swimming pool for all I know. The last stat I saw Korea was still topping the OECD in traffic accidents, but the trend overall is that traffic conditions in Korea are improving.


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