In 2018, it was reported that the USA had the highest child mortality rate among twenty other rich nations. The chances of a child passing away before reaching the age of 18 are said to be far higher in the country. This reality continues to persist despite efforts to reduce the child mortality rate. From the years 2001 to 2010, the risk of infants dying was at 76% higher, while it was 57% higher for children aged 1-19 years.
Worse, children deaths caused by gun-related violence is 36-82 times more likely to happen in the U.S. than in other wealthy countries. Dr. Rebecca Cunningham of the Injury Prevention Center at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor said that guns are killing more children in the USA than cancer.
Even if childhood deaths are now significantly less common compared to how it was centuries ago, affected families aren’t comforted by this at all. In the tragic event of losing a child, local cemeteries in Kaysville and other cities offer their kind assistance to the devastated families, with their serene and lush grounds, which would be the final resting place of children.
Apart from shootings, suicide by firearms also accounted for more than one-third of gunshot deaths among adolescents; homicide accounted for nearly two-thirds, and gun-related accidents accounted for another 4%. Currently, no other country is known to have even half the number of gun-related deaths in the USA. Furthermore, none also comes close to the number of firearms circulating within the USA.
This year alone, there have already been 22 school shootings in the country. This violence occurred in several locations, from elementary to college campuses. In all of these shooting incidents, at least one person was injured, and a few have died.
Vehicle crashes are accountable for 20% of child and adolescent deaths. Young drivers and pedestrians using mobile phones on the road are seen to be the leading contributor of these fatal accidents. In the USA, fatality rates from road accidents are three times higher than in other wealthy nations.
Deaths at Birth/Shortly After Birth
The mortality rate among babies in the USA for the decade ending in 2010 was found to be 68.8 per 10,000, which was far higher compared to nineteen other high-income countries with a rate of only 36 deaths per 10,000.
Other Causes and Factors
Other causes of childhood deaths are Cancer (accounting for 9%) and suffocation (7%). Drowning, drug overdose, and poisoning were also among the contributors to the high child mortality rate.
As the USA continues to spend more for health care of children, both individuals and the larger society need to understand that they can do so much in order to reduce these tragic deaths among children in the country. One of the few core beliefs that everyone can agree on is that deaths among children and adolescents are mostly caused by preventable tragedies. Their rights to live safely must be upheld and fought for by every parent or guardian.