Death is death but the causes can vary from place to place and from person to person, what we know about death among children and how can we define the first phases of childhood. The first phase is the neonatal phase which starts from the first day 0 -27 days, at this phase prematurity or preterm is the biggest major of death, from a gender perspective, boys in the neonatal period tend to have more difficulty surviving during delivery and in the first month of life.
The infancy phase is the first year of life, one of the deaths causes in infancy is perinatal Low body weight (LBW- prematurity). For instance, in Sweden over 40 percent of infant deaths are caused by problems related to delivery, pregnancy, and the process of adaptation during the neonatal period.
The postneonatal phase is between 1-59 months and Pneumonia is a major cause of death. There is also the 5-9 years phase, there motor vehicle and other accidents are responsible for approximately a quarter of all deaths among girls and a third of deaths among boys. The school-age phase has also obesity because it could increase the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease in adulthood and could be a primary risk factor for bullying.
The most complex cause is the sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and that cause has decreased dramatically during the last decades. SIDS referred to as ‘unexplained infant deaths. Since 1990, parents have begun laying infants on their backs rather than on their stomachs and that made the rate of sudden infant death syndrome to decline.
Moreover, the reduction in the infant mortality rate was due to the easy access to the health care system and due access to better care during delivery. The improvement in the economy of the country, which led to better mothers’ living conditions, the high percentage of breastfed infants, the low childhood accident rate, and the high proportion of vaccinated children which led to less serious infectious disease. As well as identifying the common causes of neonatal mortality such as preterm birth and LBW.
Also, the risk factors that can affect the infant during fetal life such as smoking. For instance, smokers in early pregnancy in Sweden has decreased by more than 30% since 1983. By knowing that smoking during pregnancy may cause preterm birth and other consequences, we can reduce the risk of infant death later in life. Even environmental medical analyses and supplemental intake has been contributed to the reduction. The societal compensation for maternity leave for breastfeeding could reduce also the risk of infant mortality. This change has changed the socioeconomic distribution of this health problem by easy access to the health care system and the risen of health equity.
The causes of death among children in a high-income country
- The prematurity or preterm death
- The perinatal low body weight (LBW- prematurity)
- The Pneumonia
- The motor vehicle and other accidents
- The sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)