Leading Causes of Death for Children Under Five

Child Deaths Increase

Awareness of the leading causes of death for children can lead to intervention strategies to help prevent mortality. Many of these deaths are preventable through preconception health care, early and ongoing prenatal care, and outreach to parents and caregivers. This indicator measures the leading causes of death for infants less than one year old and children ages one through four in San Bernardino County.

Awareness of the leading causes of death for children can lead to intervention strategies to help prevent mortality.

How is San Bernardino County Doing?

Leading Causes of Death for Young Children

San Bernardino County, 2016
Cause of Death# of deaths
Accidents (unintentional injuries)10
Congenital Defect/ Chromosomal Abnormalities5
Leukemia2
All Other Causes16
TOTAL33

With the exception of accidents, causes with fewer than two deaths for young children are included in “All other causes.” Source: County of San Bernardino, Department of Public Health analysis of California Department of Public Health, Center for Health Information and Statistics, California Death Statistical Master File

In 2016, the overall death rate for children under five years of age in San Bernardino County increased:

  • The number of infant deaths increased 21%, from 165 in 2015 to 199 in 2016.
  • The number of deaths among children ages one through four increased 10%, from 30 deaths in 2015 to 33 deaths in 2016.
  • The overall death rate for children under five increased 19% between 2015 and 2016.
  • However, the 10-year trend for San Bernardino County is gradually downward.
  • Congenital defects/chromosomal abnormalities and maternal pregnancy complications affecting the newborn continue to top the list of leading causes of infant deaths.
  • Accidents and congenital defects/chromosomal abnormalities were the leading causes of death for young children (one to four years old).
  • Of the 10 deaths due to accidents for children ages one to four years old, seven were due to drownings, two were due to accidental strangulation or suffocation, and one was due to motor vehicle collision.

Leading Causes of Death for Infants

San Bernardino County, 2016
Cause of Death# of deaths
Congenital Defects/Chromosomal Abnormalities42
Maternal Pregnancy Complications Affecting Newborn26
Prematurity/Low Birth Weight14
Complications of placenta, cord & membranes7
Respiratory distress of newborn5
Intestinal Disease (Necrotizing enterocolitis) of Newborn4
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome3
Chronic Respiratory Disease3
Gastritis, Duodenitis, and Noninfective Enteritis and Colitis3
Pulmonary Hemorrhage3
Bacterial Sepsis of Newborn3
Cardiomyopathy3
All other83
TOTAL199

With the exception of accidents, causes with fewer than five deaths for infants and fewer than two deaths for young children are included in “All other causes.” Source: County of San Bernardino, Department of Public Health analysis of California Department of Public Health, Center for Health Information and Statistics, California Death Statistical Master File

Death Rate Due to All Causes for Children Under Five

San Bernardino County, 2007-2016
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Sources: County of San Bernardino, Department of Public Health analysis of California Department of Public Health, Center for Health Information and Statistics, California Death Statistical Master File; California Department of Finance: 2010-2060 – Population Projections by Race/Ethnicity, Detailed Age, & Gender