Tennessee child death rate down 20 percent in 5 years

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The death rate for children in Tennessee dropped by 20 percent over the five years between 2007 and 2011.

According to a report by the Tennessee Department of Health, factors in that decrease include a sharp decline in the number of sleep-related infant deaths due to suffocation or strangulation.

But Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner said there are still too many children dying from preventable causes.

Of the 799 deaths in 2011 that were reviewed for the report, 26 percent were due to injuries from things like motor vehicles, weapons and fires. Another 62 percent of deaths were due to medical problems like prematurity, cancer and infections.

Twenty percent of infant deaths were from unsafe sleep environments.

The report released on Tuesday includes recommendations to help prevent future deaths.


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