Map #8. The Southernization of America: Rates of childhood injuries resulting in death are higher in the South and in states run by conservatives.
Bike helmets? We don’t need no stinkin’ bike helmets…Because, FREEDOM. And because the Southernization of America encourages us to see human lives as disposable, rather than worthy of protection, even when they’re children.
Alarmingly, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports the U.S. has among the highest rates of childhood deaths resulting from unintentional injuries in the developed world. And, of course, these rates are even higher in and around the Old South (plus Alaska and a handful of High Plains states). The top causes of child deaths are: Motor-vehicle-related injuries, suffocation, drowning, poisoning, fires and burns, falls, and sports/recreation-related injuries.
Strangely, accidental shootings didn’t make the short list, even though at least 100 children died in gun-related incidents in 2013 alone (and these shootings often go unreported).
How could these fatal child injuries be prevented? With simple, commonsense items like child-proof cigarette lighters, car seats, bike helmets, and smoke alarms.
Alas, these items cost money. and ensuring safety for minors requires attention from adults. For many of today’s families, money and time to pay as much attention as we’d like or should are in short supply these days.
Continues on next page: Map #9. The Southernization of America: Voter ID Laws by State.