Mixed News for Childhood Death Rates
The rate of death in children from unintentional injuries dropped 29 percent from 2000 to 2009, according to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death for ages 1-19. In particular:
- The total number of deaths fell from about 12,400 in 2000 to around 9,100 in 2009. (The numbers exclude youth deaths from violence.)
- Use of child-safety and booster seats and tougher laws limiting teen driving helped reduce rates of unintentional-injury deaths caused by car accidents, say CDC officials. The number of youth deaths caused by motor-vehicle accidents dropped 41 percent, from 7,497 in 2000 to 4,564 in 2009.
- Child deaths from drowning, falls and fires or burns also showed declines.
However, deaths from suffocation and poisoning rose.
- Unintentional infant suffocation deaths increased 54 percent to 1,160 in 2009, rising from 864 in 2000.
- Poisoning death rates rose 91 percent among youth ages 15-19, attributed to rising prescription-drug abuse among this age group.