A new report has found that the number of child deaths in Nebraska has decreased significantly since a committee was formed to examine the cause of those deaths.
The state's Child Death Review Team reported that 237 children died during 2009, the most recently reviewed year. That is a 35 percent decrease in the number of deaths since the group began their reviews in 1993.
The top five causes of death for children newborn to 17-years-old for 2009 were:
Of the 237 child deaths in 2009, just over 32 percent were deemed preventable by the Child Death Review Team. Many of those were from vehicle crashes and unintentional injuries.
"The decrease in child deaths is a testimony to the hard work of parents, communities, medical providers and state and private agencies to reduce the number of risks to children," said team chair Dr. Joseph Acierno, who is also Chief Medical Officer and director of Public Health for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. "However, many child deaths were preventable so there's more work to be done to help protect our children."
The team has made some key recommendations to help prevent future child deaths. They include:
The Child Death Review Team was established by the Nebraska Legislature in 1993 to achieve a better understanding about the reasons behind Nebraska's child death rate.
Statute requires that core team members include a physician employed by DHHS, forensic pathologist, law enforcement representative, attorney, and senior staff member with DHHS' child protective services.
More information can be found in the team's 2009 report.