Child mortality is declining worldwide, according to a half-century’s worth of data from the Human Mortality Database and the World Health Organization. The United States, however, has had higher rates of mortality for kids aged 0-19, as compared to other wealthy (OECD) nations, since the 1980s. In 2013, the health and safety of children in the United States was ranked 25th out of 29 developed countries by UNICEF.
From 2001 to 2010, the risk of death in the U.S. compared to peer nations was 76% greater for infants and 57% greater for children and youth age 1-19, according to a new Health Affairs study. In that same time frame, American teens age 15-19 were 82 times more likely to die from gun-related homicide.
United States policymakers need to focus on preventing perinatal deaths, car accidents, and firearm assaults, which are the largest contributors to child mortality. Healthy children become healthy adults and, according to the authors, society has a “moral responsibility” to ensure they grow up with adequate safety and health care.
Feature image: Child Mortality In The US And 19 OECD Comparator Nations: A 50-Year Time-Trend Analysis, Health Affairs, Vol. 37, No. 1: doi.org/10.1377/hlthaff.2017.0767