The Georgia Child Fatality Review Panel report on 2013 deaths found the state has an above-average infant mortality rate.
In 2013, 540 deaths were reviewable, meaning the death was “sudden, unexpected, unexplained, suspicious, or attributed to usual circumstances.”
“The infant mortality rate in Georgia continues to be higher than the national rate, and the rate for African-Americans continues to be higher than the state rate,” the report reads.
In 2013, seven of the 540 reviewable deaths in Georgia occurred in Hall County. In total, 18 children died in Hall County in 2013, with 11 being less than a year old.
The report found that of all the reviewed deaths, around 83 percent were preventable, deemed by the panel as avoidable through any interventional action or education.
“In 141 cases where the death was preventable, the committees recommended at least one type of prevention strategy — education, law/ordinance, agency policy/program, or environment/consumer product,” the report reads.
A total of 139 infants died from sleep-related incidents, many classified as Sudden Unexplained Infant Death. SUID was counted in instances where the cause of death was undetermined but unsafe sleeping habits could have contributed.
A majority of the sleep-related deaths were in an adult bed. For a safe sleep environment, the National Institutes of Health advised to keep infants sleeping on their backs and in their own beds. Parents are also cautioned against overbundling their child.
The report also found the No. 1 cause of death for noninfant children was motor vehicle crashes, which have increased. The highest demographic of children who died in motor vehicle crashes was 15- to 17-year-olds, representing 46 of the 102 motor-vehicle-related deaths.