Your Family

Jun 18, 2010 3:12 PM by Carina Corral

New report shows the leading cause of death among children in Santa Barbara County

A report shows medical conditions were the leading cause of death among children in Santa Barbara County from July 2007 through June 2009.

52 children, 17 years or younger, died between July 2007 and June 2008 and 45 died between July 2008 and June 2009.

The report, released by the county's Child Death Review Team, stated that medical conditions or unpreventable diseases were the cause of a majority of the deaths: 77 percent from 2007 to 2008 and 64 percent from 2008 to 2009.

Some other key points of the study are:

• A child is most at risk of dying during the first 12 months of their life. Many of these deaths, (25 of the deaths for children under the age of 1), were due in some part to prematurity.

• Accidents appear to occur across all age categories.

• Parents co-sleeping with young children or maternal overlying are factors in some accidents and undetermined deaths.

"The death of a child, of any age and any circumstance is a tragedy," said Dr. Takashi Wada, Director of the Department of Public Health and Health Officer. "It is important for all of us to learn what is preventable and take steps to prevent future deaths."

The county said it has started educating families about the prevention of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, and has done more outreach with community agencies to work with high risk families.

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