Santa Barbara County’s interagency Child Death Review Team released its report on Wednesday stating the cause of death for the county’s 81 children who died between January 2012 and December 2014. Based on the solemn data, the review team provides recommendations to the county on how to prevent future deaths of children and teens 17 years old and younger.
According to a Public Health Department press release, “the majority of child deaths in these years were due to medical conditions or unpreventable disease.” Thirty-two children died in 2014, and of those deaths 23 — or 71.9 percent — were due to medical conditions, the reports states. “Over the three years, 27 (43.5 percent) of the deaths due to medical conditions for children under the age of 1 were due in some part to prematurity.”
In 2014, two children were killed in homicides and one child died from SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Between January and June 2015, two more infants died from SIDS. No children took their own lives in 2014, although two did in 2012.
Accidents including car crashes, drowning, and asphyxiation killed children of all ages, and six in 2014. Parents crushing their child while co-sleeping contributed to some accidental and undetermined infant deaths.
Following the report, the Child Death Review Team recommends discussing and developing methods to prevent teen death and homicide, increasing child-safety education — including issues of home safety and child abuse prevention — and reviewing fetal demise cases.
The full report can be read here.