In The News
The Tragic Death of Mike Tyson’s Daughter
The heartbreaking, sobering, frightening reality of childhood accidents
-Julie Ryan Evans
The news that Mike Tyson’s daughter, Exodus, had accidently hung herself on her family’s treadmill leaves us mourning for the family and horrified.
“Somehow she was playing on this treadmill, and there’s a cord that hangs under the console – it’s kind of a loop,” said Police Sgt. Andy Hill. “Either she slipped or put her head in the loop, but it acted like a noose, and she was obviously unable to get herself off of it.”
My God, you can worry about everything from childhood cancer, to vaccines, to covering your electric outlets, to the Swine Flu, and then all of a sudden your daughter is killed by something you brought into your home to keep your family healthy. Heartbreaking.
“Freak” accidents we call them because they don’t happen all the time, but they do … the children who drown in a bucket of water, are accidentally shot by a friend, choke on a small toy, ingest some magnets. And the accidents are particularly disturbing because often, in hindsight, you can see how they could have been/should have been prevented if only …
But we can’t cover all of the “if only’s,” and that’s why “accidents happen”, no matter how cautious we may be. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) unintentional injuries (aka accidents) are THE LEADING cause of death among children in the United States. On average, 12,175 children 0 to 19 years of age died each year in the United States from an unintentional injury between 2000-2006. Sobering.
But short of locking our children up and never letting them see they light of day, there’s only so much we can do, so many precautions we can take. So the best we can do is to arm ourselves with the facts, do what we can to protect them and hope for the best.
Some data from The CDC Childhood Injury Report: Patterns of Unintentional Injuries among 0-19 Year Olds in the United States, 2000 – 2006:
- Males had higher injury death rates than females. The death rate for males was almost two times the rate for females, and males had a higher injury death rate compared to females in all childhood age groups.
- Injuries due to transportation were the leading cause of death for children. The highest death rates were among occupants of motor vehicles in traffic. There were also a substantial number of pedestrian and pedal cyclist deaths among children.
- The leading causes of injury death differed by age group.
- For children less than 1 year of age, two-thirds of injury deaths were due to suffocation.
- Drowning was the leading cause injury death for those 1 to 4 years of age.
- For children 5 to 19 years of age, the most injury deaths were due to being an occupant in a motor vehicle traffic crash.
- Overall, states with the lowest injury death rates were in the northeast. Fire and burn death rates were highest in some of the southern states.
The CDC has also launched the Protect the Ones You Love: Child Injuries Are Preventable initiative to help parents avoid some of the most common causes of injury. There are a host of materials available for download at www.cdc.gov/safechild including fact sheets and podcasts.
Prevention tips include the following:
Burns – Fire and scalding water can pose threats to children. To help keep kids safer from burns caused by fire, install and maintain smoke alarms in your home.
Drownings – Drownings can happen quickly and quietly, but installing four-sided fences, with self-closing and self-latching gates, around backyard swimming pools can make a life-saving difference by keeping kids away from water when you’re not there to supervise.
Falls – Falls can happen at the playground or at home. To protect your child, check playground equipment to make sure it’s properly designed and maintained and that there’s a safe, soft landing surface below.
Poisonings – Everyday household products can be poisonous to children, but you can safeguard your home. Keep medicines and toxic products, such as cleaning solutions, in locked or childproof cabinets.
Road Traffic Injuries – To make injuries less likely when you’re on the road, always use seat belts, child safety seats, and booster seats that are appropriate for your child’s age and weight.
Prevention also did a good article on some summer safety tips including making children stay hydrated, preventing and identifying concussions and the importance of the right sports equipment.
Helpful information and good reminders for sure, but there’s nothing about treadmills, like the one that killed Exodus Tyson … and a host of others accidents out there waiting to happen. Frightening.