Massachusetts Highly Ranked in Safety for Children
According to a study undertaken by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Massachusetts is the safest state in which to be a child. The good news is that the overall death rate for children was down by 30% over the past decade! In the study, the death rate for children aged 19 and younger, from 2000 through 2009, was not only lowest in Massachusetts, but the rate of decrease over time at 44% percent, was among the lowest as well. Mississippi was the least safe state for children.
In our injuries to kids Massachusetts blog we have tried to keep Massachusetts parents appraised of new laws, trends, and news regarding keeping kids safe in Massachusetts. Notwithstanding the positive news from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we have much to do.
Child deaths by motor vehicle accidents was the most common throughout the country. The other most common causes of child deaths were suffocation, drowning, poisoning, fires and falls. The poisoning cases are tragic because they rose 91% over the past decade and they are largely from prescription drug misuse.
Why are the Massachusetts statistics so much better? According to the director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, Massachusetts has a “long history of safety culture” being the first state to pass legislation to protect children. We are wondering if there is a correlation between child safety and education. A friend who recently came back from a year teaching at a Mississippi university noted that the educational standards there was “significantly and dramatically lower” there. Of course, Mississippi is known as the poorest state, and that generally correlates with education too.
Another poorly performing state with respect to child was South Dakota. While that state reduced accidental child deaths 21% in the past decade, it was the second most dangerous state for children. 70% of the child deaths in South Dakota were motor vehicle deaths. 5% were as a result of drowning and 3% were related to poisoning. Perhaps the good news is that the South Dakota legislature passed a law last year creating a task force on teenage driving safety. The task force they set up was looking at distracted driving, alcohol usage, drugs, seat belts usage and drivers education.
The third worst state to be a child, under this paradigm, is Montana. While the death rate was down 35%, there were 20 deaths per 100,000 children, giving them this awful distinction. Next was Wyoming, where the public heath department admitted their ranking was a “troubling concern” and noted that because of the rural nature of the state, and the difficulty of getting medical facilities following a motor vehicle collision, the death rate would be higher. They have launched a program, called “safe kids” which promotes motor vehicle and other types of safe practices for youth.
Louisiana was next worst, however, their reduction in deaths for children was only 9% over the past decade. This is dramatically lower than the other states at the bottom, indicating that there is significant work to do. For example, in 2009, there were 253 deaths of Louisiana children.
Oklahoma was the sixth worse state in which to be a child over the past ten years. It should be noted that driver safety laws are not being passed there. For example, despite the fact that forbidding cell phone use in cars laws are regularly proposed, the state legislature was unable to pass those laws.
If you are the parent or guardian of a child who is injured in Massachusetts, call us anytime for a free consultation. We have a successfully represented families of injured children since 1985.