AUGUSTA,  — Maine health officials say unintentional injuries were the leading cause of death among Mainers ages 1 to 44 from 2004 to 2008.

The state Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says unintentional injuries were also the fifth leading cause of death among all ages during that span. In Maine, they caused 831 injury deaths and more than 8,000 hospital discharges in 2008.

Learning how to avoid injuries will be the subject of a conference Wednesday in Hermon. The program’s designed to help professionals who work with children and teens, as well as parents and caregivers, learn how to keep people of all ages safe and free of harm.

Maine CDC Director Dora Anne Mills says injuries are an important and preventable public health problem, and a critical component to injury prevention is education. There’s no registration fee for the event.