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Ten years of child deaths - where does NSW go from here?

Ten years of child deaths - where does NSW go from here?

 29 Jul 2008

Reference Source:
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www.kids.nsw.gov.au

A new study that examines important information about child deaths from a ten year period was released today by the NSW Child Death Review Team.

NSW Commissioner for Children and Young People and Convenor of the Child Death Review Team, Ms Gillian Calvert. said
"This is the first time a report of this nature has been produced that provides us with information about where we're making real progress in reducing child deaths,"
The Trends in Child Deaths in NSW 1996-2005 report reveals that child deaths overall have declined by 37.99%, equivalent to saving to 8.6 lives per 100,000 children and young people. When the Team looked at age groups it found the greatest change in mortality rates was for infants, with substantial declines in deaths associated with prematurity (18%), sudden unexpected death in infancy (16%) and congenital malformations (33%).

NSW Commissioner for Children and Young People and Convenor of the Child Death Review Team, Ms Gillian Calvert. said
"We should feel pleased that real progress has been made by parents, community and service providers working together to reduce child deaths,"


"However, we can't afford to become complacent about our achievements as other patterns have emerged that reveal the degree of change is not as positive for some groups in the community, who continue to experience significant disadvantage."
For instance, there were no real differences across the period in the likelihood of drowning in private swimming pools, or deaths related to epilepsy or meningococcal.

For many of the causes of child deaths the Team consistently found that factors such as socio-economic circumstances, geographic location, and Aboriginality can affect the upward and downward trend. The typical pattern was for mortality rates to decrease as relative socioeconomic advantage increased. Deaths by suicide and deaths related to asthma, epilepsy, and cerebral palsy were the exceptions.

NSW Commissioner for Children and Young People and Convenor of the Child Death Review Team, Ms Gillian Calvert. said
"The results of the study clearly show where more work needs to be done to reduce systemic disadvantage,"
The Trends in Child Deaths in NSW 1996-2005 report has made nine recommendations focusing on the challenges of reducing child deaths in some sectors of the community, including:
  • Developing prevention strategies around meningococcal infection and pneumonia, especially in low socio-economic and regional areas and in Aboriginal communities  
  • Implementing strategies that raise awareness about the risks of recreational driving (such as motorbikes) by children under 16 years
  • Requiring local authorities to monitor compliance with swimming pool legislation.
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Go to the full report, and recommendations and findings.

Media inquiries:

The Commissioner will be briefly available for questions on the steps of NSW Parliament House, Macquarie St at 12 noon today, 29 July 2008.

Michelle Neathercote on 0413 456 080 or Bruce Williams on 0413 452 498

Related Links
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Ten years of child deaths - where does rural and regional NSW go from here?
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Ten years of child deaths in swimming pools
Ten years of younger driver deaths
Ten years of alcohol related child deaths
Ten years of child deaths from asthma
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