Monday, 8 November 2010

SIDS: Kansas statistics of child mortality

 October 25, 2010
In its annual report, the Kansas State Child Death Review Board released statistics of child deaths from 2008, and the board made a number of recommendations to try to reduce some of the preventable deaths in the report.
The board broke the deaths out into six catergories: natural-except sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) - 316 deaths; Natural-SIDS - 49 deaths; Unintentional injury (motor vehicle crash, drowning, strangulation, etc.) - 79 deaths; Homicide (including gang-related and child-abuse) - 26 deaths; Suicide - 9 deaths; and Undetermined - 23 deaths.
The recommendations the review board included: comprehensive and thorough investigations and autopsies, working partnerships with various for public education purposes, improving women's/maternal health to lower infant mortality, comprehensive laws regarding ATVs, prohibiting unattended children in vehicles, and adjustments to laws allowing children to drive on a farm permit.
In the natural deaths category, the report notes that 64 percent of the deaths were from infants less than 29 days old, 40 percent were due to prematurity and 22 percent were from congenital malformation.
In 2008, the report said 85 percent of the SIDS deaths in Kansas occurred in the first four months of life. In 82 percent of the SIDS cases, the report said mechanical asphyxia or suffocation caused by overlay could not be ruled out because the infants were placed to sleep in an unsafe environment, like in a bed, on a couch or recliner or on their abdomen. Of the infants who died from SIDS, 24 percent of those who died were placed in a crib to sleep and 37 percent were placed on their back.
The report noted that the violence-related deaths were the most alarming of the deaths. The statistics showed 50 percent of homicides came from abuse cases and most of those deaths came from children under the age of 4 and died from abusive head trauma. The report also noted 61 percent were killed by someone other than their biological parent, including 38 percent being killed by the mother's boyfriend who was left to care for the child.
The majority of the suicide deaths, the report said, were from teens ages 16 and 17, who died from asphyxia and that 33 percent had previously attempted suicide or had suicidal tendencies before their death, the report said. The board noted 44 percent of the suicides came after a recent breakup or argument with a significant other and 77 percent had some type of family discord.
Most of the unintentional deaths were from motor vehicle crashes, the report said, and accounted for 65 percent of the total unintentional injury deaths. In breaking down the unintentional death numbers, 48 percent of the deaths involved inattentive or inexperienced teen drivers. Four of the five children killed in ATV wrecks in ATVs were under the age of 13

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