Child deaths in Kansas increased between 2012 and 2013, according to a newly released report from the Kansas State Child Death Review Board.
The board’s 2015 annual report analyzes deaths that occurred in calendar year 2013, the most recent year for which data is available. The report showed that Kansas had 447 child fatalities that year which is an increase from the 418 child deaths in 2012.
“The death of a child is always a tragedy,” Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said. “I commend the work of the board in compiling this critical information to help policymakers focus resources where they are most needed to keep kids safe.”
In addition to overall deaths, the report showed that the rate of infant deaths – which includes newborns through 1 year of age – increased to 6.9 deaths per 1,000 live births which is up from 6.5 in 2012.  Working to decrease the infant mortality rate continues to be a goal of the board and Kansas policymakers.
Natural deaths including those as a result of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) remained the cause in the majority of the child fatalities, accounting for 312 of the total cases. Prematurity and congenital conditions accounted for a majority of the natural deaths.
Unintentional injuries caused 83 child deaths in 2013, with 38 of those being the result of motor vehicle crashes. The second most prevalent unintentional injury was drowning with 14 deaths occurring. “By reviewing each child fatality in Kansas, the board is able to analyze and provide data to individuals, organizations, and the State of Kansas as a whole,” said Sara Hortenstine, the board’s executive director. “The more information our state has to work with, the better enabled we are to work together to create a safer place for our children.”
The board is a multi-disciplinary, multi-agency volunteer board organized by law within the Attorney General’s Office to examine trends and patterns that identify risk factors in the deaths of children, from birth through 17 years of age.
The report is available on the attorney general’s website at