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Child deaths at record low in NC

Posted December 14, 2011

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— Child death rates in North Carolina reached the lowest level ever recorded in 2010, according to data released Wednesday by the state Child Fatality Task Force.

Figures gathered by the State Center for Health Statistics and the Child Fatality Prevention Team research staff show a rate of 58 deaths per 100,000 children from birth through 17 years of age, compared with 67 deaths per 100,000 children in 2009.

Officials attributed the decline to a substantial reduction in infant mortality and in the number of deaths due to motor vehicle crashes and suicides.

β€œThe future prosperity of our state depends on the health and well-being of our next generation. This continued improvement in this basic indicator of child well-being shows the value of focused public policies and sustained and strategic investments for improving outcomes for our children,” Elizabeth Hudgins, executive director of the Child Fatality Task Force, said in a statement.

In 2010, 1,311 children died statewide, down from 1,486 in 2009.

The leading cause of injury death last year – and in previous years – was motor vehicle crashes, with 100 deaths last year. Birth defects and other birth-related conditions accounted for almost half of the deaths last year.

Infants under age 1 comprised about two-thirds of overall child deaths in North Carolina last year.

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