News ID: 273594
Published: 1114 GMT September 01, 2020

Children are almost 20 times as likely to die from an injury as from COVID-19

Children are almost 20 times as likely to die from an injury as from COVID-19
colson.com

Children are almost 20 times as likely to die from an injury as from coronavirus, national research shows.

The study, led by Newcastle University, also shows that flu kills twice as many children in Britain as coronavirus, according to telegraph.co.uk.

Researchers said the findings, revealed as pupils across the country prepare to return to school, should reassure parents.

The study used annual deaths data to estimate deaths from different causes for children aged nine and under, and those aged 10 to 19 between March 1 and July 31 of this year.

It shows that in the UK, while 57 children aged nine and under are likely to have died from “non-intentional injury”, and seven from flu, just three died from coronavirus.

Overall, researchers estimated 1,724 deaths among those of this age during the period — meaning that coronavirus deaths — made up just 0.17 percent of all deaths. Among those aged between 10 and 19, they estimated 44 non-intentional injuries, along with three flu deaths, and 12 from coronavirus.

Similar patterns were seen across the globe. Across seven countries tracked, there were an estimated 21,966 fatalities among under 19s, including 1,755 deaths from non-intentional injuries, 178 flu deaths and 80 coronavirus deaths.

Coronavirus deaths therefore represent 0.36 percent of all estimated deaths in children in such countries over the period, researchers said.

The research examined fatality statistics from the USA, Italy, Germany, Spain, France and Korea, as well as the UK.

For the analysis, mortality data from all causes was extracted from 2017, along with three year’s flu data, and compared with coronavirus figures.

Researchers said: “Children have sacrificed much international efforts to contain coronavirus. We know that negative experiences in childhood matter lifelong”.

“Five months of data show that in these countries, children are at much greater risk of death from other elements of normal life, than from coronavirus.”

Lead researcher Dr. Sunil Bhopal, from Newcastle University’s Population Health Sciences Institute said children were at “minimal risk” from coronavirus, but had suffered greatly, as a result of lockdown and months without school.

He said: “We continue to meet and hear from parents, carers, teachers and others who worry for their children’s safety from coronavirus. We aim to continue to reassure them that this remains a predominantly adult-focused disease.”

The study, which is due to be published in Public Health journal, follows a series of research papers demonstrating minimal risks to children from coronavirus.

Research by Public Health England shows that schools reopening in June did not lead to a single child being hospitalized with coronavirus.

The data reveals that despite more than 1.6 million youngsters returning to education, just 70 children tested positive for the virus, and none needed hospital treatment.

Britain’s chief medical officers have warned that children are more at risk of long-term harm by not attending school.

Researchers said the latest findings should further reassure parents and teachers.

Last week, a British study found that children made up less than one percent of all people admitted to hospital with coronavirus.

The research involving Edinburgh and Liverpool universities found that the only deaths among children occurred in those with major underlying health conditions such as cerebral palsy or cancer. The study was based on more than 79,000 admissions to hospitals in Britain, around two thirds of all hospitalizations with coronavirus, of which 651 were children.

Report author Calum Semple, Professor in Child Health and Outbreak Medicine, University of Liverpool, said: “The fundamental issue here is that we did not have any deaths in otherwise healthy school aged children. Severe disease is rare and death is vanishingly rare.”

   
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