187 Cuyahoga Co. children died in 2011, second lowest total in 20 years

CLEVELAND - Each year, the Cuyahoga County Child Fatality Review looks at the causes of death of children less than 18 years old who lived in Cuyahoga County.

A group of doctors, nurses, social workers, police, mental health experts and the medical examiner meet each month to look at facts about the child and the death. The group looks for ways to prevent children from dying.

The program also teaches the public about infant and child safety such as:

- Safe sleep for babies
- Watching young children
- Going to the doctor while you are pregnant
- Making your home safe from fires and other threats

Here are some standout points from this year's report:

There were 187 child deaths in Cuyahoga County in 2011—the second lowest total number of deaths in 20 years.

The total number of deaths increased by nine from the 2010 total of 178.  There was a 44 percent increase in the total number of children who died between 1 and 9 years of age compared to 2010.

Cuyahoga County has a lower child death rate than other large Ohio counties.

In comparison with other large urban areas in Ohio (Franklin, Hamilton, Montgomery counties), Cuyahoga County had the lowest child death rate in 2010.

Minority children are more than twice as likely to die.

Almost two minority children died for every one white child. There was a small reduction in the disparity between white and all other race children (2.3 ratio in 2011, compared to 2.4 in 2010), however the decrease in disparity was due to an increase in the rate of death in white children.

Also, child deaths are clustered in areas where there are higher percentages of persons living below the poverty level.

The infant mortality rate increased 0.3 percent in 2011.

The county Infant Mortality Rate is significantly higher than the rate of the entire state of Ohio and of the United States.  The most frequent cause of infant death was prematurity (80), birth defects (35) and sleep related deaths (19).

Fewest number of sleep related deaths in the past five years.

There were 19 sleep related deaths in Cuyahoga County in 2011.  Sleep related deaths include Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), Accidental Suffocation, and Sudden Unexplained Infant Death (SUID).

Cuyahoga County had the second fewest deaths in age group of 1–17 years.

Forty-three children aged 1-17 died in 2011, which is higher than the previous year, but is much lower than the average between 2005-2009, which was 70.  The number of child deaths in 2010 and 2011 were the lowest in the last 20 years.

In 2011, homicides increased by six, while suicides tie for second lowest in the last 10 years.

Homicide went from the sixth to the fourth leading cause of death among all age groups from 2010 to 2011. The leading risk factor associated to homicide was poverty, followed by family history of domestic violence.

There were 2 suicides in 2011. According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15-24-year-olds and the fourth leading cause of death for children ages 10-14. According to TeenHelp.org, almost one in five high school students have seriously considered killing themselves while one in seven students made actual plans for committing suicide.

There has been a significant increase in deaths due to abuse and neglect.

Five of seven deaths were residents of Cleveland. All seven ranged in age from 5 months to 14 years old.  The leading risk factor in deaths due to abuse or neglect was poverty.

You can read the entire report here: http://www.ccbh.net/storage/child-and-family-health/Child%20Fatality%20Report%202011.pdf

For information or help on preventing child deaths visit:


MomsFirst: http://momsfirst.org/
March of Dimes: http://www.marchofdimes.com/
Invest in Children: http://investinchildren.cuyahogacounty.us/
Help Me Grow: http://www.odh.ohio.gov/sitecore/content/HelpMeGrow/default.aspx?sc_lang=en
Cuyahoga County Board of Health: http://www.ccbh.net/


Rainbow Injury Prevention Center: http://www.injurypreventioncenter.com/
Department of Children and Family Services: http://cfs.cuyahogacounty.us/
Protecting Our Future: http://protectingourfuture.cuyahogacounty.us/

Suicide prevention:

Cuyahoga County ADAMHS Board: http://www.adamhscc.org/
Parent to Parent Network: http://parent2parentnetwork.org/

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