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New report shows increase in child deaths in Kern County in 2017

Posted: 7:41 AM, Oct 23, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-24 15:30:03Z

In 2017, there were 50 child deaths in Kern County--all of which, the Child Death Review says were preventable. That number is up from 41 in 2016.

The Kern County Child Death Review team recently released its annual report . The review team discussed its findings at the Board of Supervisors morning  meeting on October 23. 

Accident were the leading cause of deaths--accidents like drownings and car crashes.

The chair of the Child Death Review team, Russell Hasting, said that the best way for parents to prevent these deaths is to always keep an eye on their children. 

"We just have to promote that we have to watch, watch, watch our children. In more than one instance it was just mere moments," He said.

According to the report, four of these deaths happened because the child was improperly buckled or not buckled at all. We recently reported on California Highway Patrol's efforts to conduct car seat checks and workshops to inform parents and guardians on how to secure children in the car.

Car accidents kill over 1,000 children every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Four of the drownings happened in bathtubs, two happened in pools and one happened in a river. Similar to car deaths, the CDC says that about one in five people who die from drowning are children.

The report also shows that seven homicides and five suicides took the lives of children under the age of 17 in Kern County.

Almost half of these deaths were children under the age of one.

On November 3rd, the city of Bakersfield will conduct free water safety classes for parents.

And if you’re unsure of how to properly secure your child in your car,  contact your local California Highway Patrol office who will connect you with a Child Passenger Safety technician.