RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Child death rates in North Carolina edged downward in 2011 to what officials say is the lowest rate ever recorded.
Data released Thursday by the North Carolina Child Fatality Task Force show that child death rates fell to 57.4 deaths per 100,000 children. That represents a decline of 46 percent since 1991, which marked the inception of the Child Fatality Prevention System.
The rate compares to 57.5 deaths per 100,000 children in 2010 and 67 deaths in 2009. When North Carolina developed the Child Fatality Prevention System in 1990, the rate exceeded 100 deaths.
Poisoning due in part to misuse of prescription drugs is the fastest growing cause of child death, mainly in older adolescents, aged 15-17.
Infants under age 1 comprise about two-thirds of all child deaths.