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J Public Health Policy. 2014 Feb;35(1):43-59. doi: 10.1057/jphp.2013.41. Epub 2013 Oct 10.

Child mortality in the Netherlands in the past decades: an overview of external causes and the role of public health policy.

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Department HTSR, IGS Institute for Innovation and Governance Studies, University of Twente, PO Box 217, Enschede 7500 AE, The Netherlands.
TNO Child Health, Leiden, The Netherlands.
Department Public Administration, IGS Institute for Innovation and Governance Studies, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands.


Among European countries, the Netherlands has the second lowest child mortality rate from external causes. We present an overview, discuss possible explanations, and suggest prevention measures. We analyzed mortality data from all deceased children aged 0-19 years for the period 1969-2011. Child mortality declined in the past decades, largely from decreases in road traffic accidents that followed government action on traffic safety. Accidental drowning also showed a downward trend. Although intentional self-harm showed a significant increase, other external causes of mortality, including assault and fatal child abuse, remained constant. Securing existing preventive measures and analyzing the circumstances of each child's death systematically through Child Death Review may guide further reduction in child mortality.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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