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Child Deaths

Vital Statistics

Technical Notes for 2014 Child Deaths in North Carolina

The data presented in the report are derived from death certificates filed with the North Carolina Vital Records office for children ages 0 through 17 who died in 2014. Any changes to these records which occur after the mortality files have been closed will not be reflected in the report. It is inappropriate to compare death certificate statistics presented in this report with statistics presented by the North Carolina Office Chief of Medical Examiner (OCME) and the Child Fatality Prevention Review Team because their file closure, case review, and coding practices are different.

I. Child Deaths

Rounding Considerations
The percentages presented are rounded to the nearest tenth and may not sum to the total due to rounding.

Child Deaths by Cause and Age Group.
In 2014 eight causes/categories of death are allocated into five age groups: Infants, 1-4, 5-9, 10-14, and 15-17. The Infant category includes all children who die within 365 days of their date of birth.  

Unintentional Injuries Subcategories
Note that the total number of unintentional injuries is divided into six subcategories:  motor vehicle injuries, drowning, fire and flame, poisoning, suffocation/chocking/strangulation, and other unintentional injuries.  These subcategory numbers are not included in the overall totals since they are included in the broad Unintentional Injuries category. The Other Unintentional Injuries subcategory includes deaths causes by exposure to inanimate mechanical forces (52.2 percent), exposure to animate mechanical forces (13.0 percent), water transport accidents (13.0 percent), accidental exposure to other and unspecified factors (8.7 percent), exposure to forces of nature (4.3 percent), falls (4.3 percent), and pedal cyclist injured in transport accident (4.3 percent).

All Other Causes of Death Category
This grouping includes deaths which cannot be categorized into any of the major cause of child death categories. Within this category, the majority of deaths were attributed to other ill-defined and unspecified causes of mortality (87.1 percent).

Notes on Cause of Death Categories

Since 1999, causes of death have been under the International Classification of Diseases-Tenth Revision (ICD-10) coding system.  Coding for 1998 and earlier years were coded under the ICD-9 coding system. Consequently, caution should be exercised in comparing cause-specific deaths across years. For example, a change in the rates for a specific cause of death from 1988 to 2014 may reflect changes in the coding system rather than epidemiological causes.

II. Child Deaths Rates

The graph of trends in child death rates presents rates by race/ethnicity for every even year of data from 1992-2014. All racial/ethnic groups presented are mutually exclusive categories. Mortality data for this time period does not include a mechanism for reporting decedents of multiple races. Rates are presented per 100,000 child population (ages 0-17) in that racial/ethnic group.

Child death rates from 2010-2014 are presented in a table for the following age groups: 0-4, 5-9, 10-14, and 15-17.  Rates are presented per 100,000 child population in that age group.

III. North Carolina Population Data

Denominators for all child death rates presented in this report are derived from population estimates supplied by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and prepared under a collaborative arrangement with the U.S. Census Bureau. Bridged population estimates are updated after every Census (known as Intercensal files) and post-Census years are updated annually (known as Postcensal files). Denominators for 2010 estimates were derived from the 2010 Bridged Census file. Intercensal Bridged estimates files were used for rates from 1991-2009. 2011-2014 rates were based on 2014 Vintage 2014 Postcensal Bridged estimates.

Death rates prior to 2014 have been recalculated using the latest available population data from the NCHS Bridged files. As a result, rates presented in this report may differ slightly from prior reports based on earlier estimates.




Produced by the N.C. Division Public Health - Women's and Children's Health Section in conjunction with the State Center for Health Statistics