Health
5:10 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Child Death Rate Continues Decline

The North Carolina Child Fatality Task Force has released new details about the state's death rate among children.

Task force executive director Elizabeth Hudgins says deaths of kids from birth to age 17 have hit a new low.

Elizabeth Hudgins: "Now there's about 57 deaths per 100-thousand children."

Hudgins says the decline has been steady since the task force was founded two decades ago. She says many practices contribute to the lower numbers like healthier adult pregnancies and safer teen drivers. However, she says child deaths from prescription drug abuses are on the rise. Hudgins says the legislature has a direct impact on death rates with the policies it passes.

Elizabeth Hudgins: "Maintaining the lowest child death rate on record shows the value of focused public policies and sustained and strategic investments for improving outcomes for children."

Hudgins says more than 10-thousand child deaths have been prevented since the task force was created.