NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Factors In Decreasing Child Mortality

May 25, 2000

Child mortality in the U.S. has fallen dramatically in recent decades -- by 57 percent from 1960 to 1990 for 1-to-4-year-olds and 48 percent among children between 5 and 14.

What's behind these sharp drops?

  • Aside from medical progress and immunization drives, economist Sherry Glied of Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health point out in a study a health decline in accidents and unintentional injuries.
  • While she credits federal safety laws for some of the decline, she says "a more probable cause" for the decline in children's injuries has been better parental access to information regarding child safety.
  • Although more mothers are working and spending less time with their offspring, many parents are better educated than in the past, she finds.
  • And they are applying that information in rearing their children.

Source: Gene Koretz, "It's Safer Now to Be a Kid," Business Week, May 29, 2000.


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