TOPEKA, KAN. ----- A report released this week shows that the number of Kansas children who died in 2011 was the lowest on record, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said.
The Kansas State Child Death Review Board’s 2013 annual report – analyzing 2011 data – showed that Kansas had 391 child fatalities that year, the lowest number of child deaths since the inception of the Board in 1992.
“The death of a child is always a tragedy,” Schmidt said. “This report is good news for Kansas, as more children are growing up to lead healthy lives. I commend the work of the Board in compiling this information to help policymakers focus resources where they are most needed to keep kids safe.”
In addition to overall deaths, the report showed that the rate of infant deaths (both resident and non-resident) had decreased to 5.9 deaths per 1,000 live births. Decreasing the infant mortality rate has been a goal of the Board and Kansas policymakers.
Natural deaths remained the cause in the majority of the child fatalities, accounting for 230 of the total cases. Of the natural deaths, 63 percent were infants younger than 30 days. Prematurity and congenital conditions accounted for a majority of natural deaths.
Unintentional injuries caused 78 child deaths in 2010, with 42 percent of those being the result of motor vehicle crashes. This was also the lowest number of motor vehicle fatalities since the Board’s inception.
“We analyze circumstances surrounding child fatality so that individuals, groups and organizations can see a clear picture of this tragic issue,” said Angela Nordhus, Executive Director of the Board. “Hopefully this will help us work together to make Kansas a safer place for our children.”
The Board is a multi-disciplinary, multi-agency volunteer board organized within the Attorney General’s Office to examine trends and patterns that identify risk factors in the deaths of children, from birth through 17 years of age.