Injuries, poisonings and violence (known collectively as external causes) are the leading cause of death in the European Region among children under 15 years, accounting for one third of deaths in this age group. In 1996, average mortality from external causes among children aged 1-14 years was 4.5 times greater in the newly independent states than in the European Union, while in central and eastern Europe it was 2.4 times higher. If mortality rates were reduced to the average of the European Union, nearly 32 000 deaths (31% of all deaths at this age) in the age group 1-19 years would be prevented each year.
Hazards inside the home: sharp corners on furniture and cabinets; sharp implements like knives; accessibility to children of areas where hot drinks and foods are placed; access by children to cupboards that contain chemicals, detergents, bleaches, sprays, poisons and medicines and tablets; large areas of water, such as full baths and buckets; power outlets mounted at a low height where partially removed plugs expose live pins; fires. Hazards outside of the home: pools and spas; garden tools, pesticides and soil additives; broken or sharp fences; barbecues; unsafe play equipment.