US: Leading Causes of Death Among Children — Welcome to Horror

Prior to Covid, the leading cause of death for those between the ages of 1 and 19 was the auto accident. That’s a broad category that includes vehicle-on-vehicle, vehicle-on-object, and vehicle on person. Like poverty, driver stupidity seems to be a permanent curse. Presumably, intentionally trying to run someone over falls into a different category.

The top five causes of death in 2018 in this age group were, in order:

  1. Motor vehicle accidents
  2. Guns (suicide, homicide, accidents and undetermined)
  3. Malignant neoplasms (cancers)
  4. Suffocation
  5. Congenital abnormalities (generally, defects at birth of a prenatal origin)

In post-Covid American, the top five causes of death are

  1. Guns
  2. Motor vehicles
  3. Drug overdoses
  4. Malignant neoplasms
  5. Suffocation
Source: New England Journal of Medicine

Happily, the numbers aren’t huge. Unhappily, they are heartbreaking for the families that suffer the death of a child.

What makes this even worse is that the two leading causes of death are the ones that should be most easily preventable.

Yhe statistics don’t clarify underlying causes. We know how something happened, but not why. Some auto accidents doubtless are suicide. Some “accidental overdoses” are as well, but some may also be homicide. The same is true of “gun accidents” and “suffocation.” There’s often no way to tell. There’s also a large gray area. Did someone else influence the child’s behavior? Cancer and birth defects are clear, the rest, not so much.

Finally, we know that Covid infection can affect cognitive function — decision-making and control over emotions. Does that have something to do with the jumps is gun and over-dose related deaths?

Sources:

  1. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2201761
  2. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2022/04/24/guns-death-children-teens-2020/7432860001/
  3. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/child-health.htm (information here is important but now slightly out of date)
  4. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-in-children/types-of-childhood-cancers.html
  5. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/surveillancemanual/chapters/chapter-1/chapter1-4.html

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