Accidents happen, and fortunately, not all accidents are serious. However, some accidents are much more common— whether they’re truly accidents or a result of neglect. Here are some of the most common injuries within each phase of the life cycle.
Toddlers and Children (Ages 1-2; 3-8)
Young children spend a lot of time outdoors (even in today’s digital world), so they’re more prone to animal/insect bites and stings. Dog bites are the most common animal bites for children in this age group.
This type of injury for this age group is typically the result of another injury, such as a fall or an impact. Kids ages five and older are especially at risk for accidentally cutting themselves on something sharp.
According to the CDC, falls are the number one cause of injury for children of all ages, especially those aged five and younger. The reason is because these falls most often occur on playground equipment, where children are most likely to fall from.
This mainly refers to a child ingesting something that they shouldn’t, but also includes kids sticking objects in their ears and up their noses, as well as splinters in the fingers. Toddlers and young children aged one to four years are more likely to suffer this type of injury.
The second most common cause of injury in this age group are accidental impacts. The injury results from kids bumping into objects and getting bumped into by other children— which is often seen in children who play sports.
Pre-Teens and Teenagers (Ages 9-12; 13-19)
Teens between the ages of 16-19 are at the highest risk of being injured in a car wreck than any other age group. This is due to the simple fact that teens are not as experienced in driving as adults, and they often ride in cars with other teens.
Also known as repetitive stress injuries, overuse injuries happen when too much stress is placed on one part of the body. Teens and pre-teens are more likely to put this type of stress on their growth plates (because they experience growth spurts during this time), which include their shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, and heels.
Sprains and Strains
This age group is also at a greater risk for sprains and strains, particularly because many pre-teens and teenagers start playing sports while in school. Sprains and strains are a specific type of overuse injury.
Early Adulthood (Ages 20-39)
Young adults aged 18-25 have the highest prevalence of mental illness, with adults aged 26-49 following closely behind. This includes all mental illnesses of any level of severity, with anxiety and depression being the most common mental illnesses.
Violence, of any type, is very common among this age group. Women between the ages of 18-24 are at the highest risk for domestic violence and rape.
Work injuries are also very common within this age group— and also during middle adulthood. Just like in adolescence, adults can overuse certain muscles, and this typically occurs at work. Other common injuries include being struck by an object and slips, trips, and falls.
Middle and Late Adulthood (Ages 40-64; 65+)
Falls become another common injury later in life, for both middle aged and older adults. The reason is because our bones become weaker after the age of 30, and after age 40 we lose more bone mass than we can replace. Middle adulthood (around age 55) is also the age where women are more likely to develop osteoporosis.
Muscles and joints also become weaker, so it’s easier to strain muscles due to overextension. This can happen at work, working around the house, or even getting out of bed.
Also known as bed sores, this type of injury occurs when blood flow is restricted to the skin on a certain part of the body. This type of injury is more commonly seen in bedridden individuals, particularly in nursing homes. Elderly patients neglected in nursing homes are at risk of developing pressure sores on their ankles, buttocks, head, neck, and tailbone— and can even die from serious infections.
Realistically some of these injuries/illnesses can affect anyone in any age group, such as falls, violence, and car accidents. However, statistics show that certain age groups are more prone to certain types of injuries. No matter what age group you’re currently in, it’s important to live a safe and healthy lifestyle, and provide the same for the children and teens in your life.