COVID-19 is eighth-leading cause of death for children— 821 deaths in one 12-month period
By Brian Ward
A new study published in January found that COVID-19 was a major cause of death in people aged 0 to 19 years old. Published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on January 30, the study found that COVID-19 was “ranked eighth among all causes of death, fifth in disease-related causes of death (excluding unintentional injuries, assault, and suicide), and first in deaths caused by infectious or respiratory diseases. COVID-19 deaths constituted 2% of all causes of death in this age group.”
Researchers found that 821 children in the 0 to 19 age range died from COVID-19 between August 2021 to July 2022, at a rate of 1 per 100,000. That said, they pointed out the risk of mortality due to COVID-19 was still lower than for other age groups. And that child mortality in the U.S. is very low on average,
“Various factors, including underreporting and not accounting for COVID-19’s role as a contributing cause of death from other diseases, mean that these estimates may understate the true mortality burden of COVID-19. The findings of this study underscore the public health relevance of COVID-19 to [children and young people] CYP,” the researchers wrote in their conclusion.
They also noted that the risk of death for children and young people in the U.S. is rare, with only 49.4 deaths per 100 000 in 2019 for those aged 0-19 years. For those aged 1 to 19 years, the number dropped to 25.0 per 100 000.