Death among children and adolescents
St. Luke's Hospital
Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Find a Physician Payment Options Locations & Directions
Follow us on: facebook twitter Mobile Email Page Email Page Print Page Print Page Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size Font Size
America's 50 Best Hospitals
Meet the Doctor
Spirit of Women
Community Health Needs Assessment
Home > Health Information

Pediatric Center

Death among children and adolescents

Alternative Names

Childhood and adolescent causes of death

Information

Accidents are, by far, the leading cause of death among children and adolescents.

THE TOP THREE CAUSES OF DEATH BY AGE GROUP

0-1 years:

  • Developmental and genetic conditions that were present at birth
  • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • All conditions associated with prematurity and low birth weight

1-4 years:

  • Accidents
  • Developmental and genetic conditions that were present at birth
  • Cancer

5-14 years:

  • Accidents
  • Cancer
  • Developmental and genetic conditions that were present at birth

15-24 years:

There are almost twice as many deaths in the first year of life than there are in the next 13 years total. Then, the death rate rises rapidly following puberty because of the large number of deadly accidents, homicides, and suicides in the 15-24 year age group. These three causes of death in teens should all be preventable.

What is preventable?

CONDITIONS PRESENT AT BIRTH

Some birth defects cannot be prevented. However, some problems may be diagnosed during pregnancy. Such conditions, when recognized, may be prevented or treated while the baby is still in the womb or immediately upon birth.

Evaluation may include genetic screening of the parents, parental medical histories and childbearing history, chorionic villus sampling, amniocentesis, and fetal ultrasound.

SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)

Putting infants on their back to sleep helps reduces the chance of SIDS. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommend that infants be placed on their back for sleeping.

PREMATURITY AND LOW BIRTH WEIGHT

Death due to prematurity frequently results from a lack of prenatal care. If you are pregnant, and not receiving prenatal care, call your health care provider or your state's department of health. Most state health departments have programs that provide prenatal care to mothers, whether or not they have insurance or are able to pay.

Education about the importance of prenatal care should be made available to all sexually active and pregnant teens.

SUICIDE

Overall teenage suicide rates in the 1990's were higher than those in the 1980's for all races. It is important to watch teens for signs of stress, depression, and suicidal behavior. Two-way communication between the troubled adolescent and parents or persons of trust is extremely important in preventing adolescent suicide.

HOMICIDE

Homicide is one of the most disturbing causes of death among children and adolescents. Sociologists feel that the increase of gangs, teenage homicide, teenage suicide, teenage pregnancy, school drop-out, and other problems are a reflection of a rapidly changing society and family structure. Homicide is a complex issue which does not have a simple answer. Prevention will require understanding of the root cause and a willingness on the part of the public to change those causes.

AUTO ACCIDENTS

The automobile accounts for the largest number of these accidental deaths. Make sure that all infants and children use the proper child car seats, booster seats, and seat belts.

Other top causes of accidental death are drowning, fire, falls, and poisoning.

References

Stanton BF, Behrman RE. Overview of pediatrics. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 1.



Review Date: 8/1/2012
Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
adam.com


Back  |  Top
About Us
Contact Us
History
Mission
Locations & Directions
Quality Reports
Annual Reports
Honors & Awards
Community Health Needs
Assessment

Newsroom
Services
Brain & Spine
Cancer
Heart
Maternity
Orthopedics
Pulmonary
Sleep Medicine
Urgent Care
Women's Services
All Services
Patients & Visitors
Locations & Directions
Find a Physician
Tour St. Luke's
Patient & Visitor Information
Contact Us
Payment Options
Financial Assistance
Send a Card
Mammogram Appointments
Health Tools
My Personal Health
mystlukes
Spirit of Women
Health Information & Tools
Clinical Trials
Health Risk Assessments
Employer Programs -
Passport to Wellness

Classes & Events
Classes & Events
Spirit of Women
Donate & Volunteer
Giving Opportunities
Volunteer
Physicians & Employees
For Physicians
Remote Access
Medical Residency Information
Pharmacy Residency Information
Physician CPOE Training
Careers
Careers
St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Copyright © St. Luke's Hospital Website Terms and Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Patient Notice of Privacy Policies PDF Sitemap St. Luke's Mobile