Of we are to believe a new study, which suggests that kids born to young moms or under the age of 30 are more likely to die compared to the ones born to older mothers. Yes! It is true says the study.
Whilst the overall child mortality rate plummeted to around 50% in the past two decades, young pregnancy turned out to be a major risk factor for childhood mortality. The report also suggests the need to offer support to pregnant mothers of all the ages and should not be limited to first-time teen moms only.
The Institute of Child Health at the UCL conducted this research. The study delved into reasons as why kids die in the United Kingdom by utilizing the death registration stats from 1980-2010.
The study focused on maternal age, birth weight and child injuries for assessing the risk factors that might trigger child mortality.
The study found that the differences in mortality rate between kids of mothers under the age of 30 and the ones born to moms above 30 accounted for around 11% of all the mortalities up to 9 years old in in Wales, Scotland and England.
This is very much equivalent to the average deaths in the United Kingdom each year, i.e. 397 deaths per year.
Deaths in kids, who were born to young mothers usually under the age of 20 accounted for 3.8% of all the deaths up to 9 years old, indicated the study.
The study even assessed kids with same birth weight in every age category.
Poverty, Smoking And Alcohol Use – Influencers
These accounted the biggest difference in the mortality rates in infants aged 1 month to 1 year.
Among the said age group, around 22% of the deaths in the United Kingdom resulted because of unexplained factors. However, the report stated this is strongly linked with deprivation, smoking and alcohol use among pregnant mothers.
The report further added that the current principle, which lays emphasis on support to first time teen moms, was not extensive enough, since moms under the age 30 account for around 52% of all the births taking place in the United Kingdom.
The findings were quite significant said Ruth Gilbert, who is the chief professor and researcher of medical epidemiology at the UCL Institute of Child Health.
In fact, young maternity during childbirth has turning out to be a social demerit, because women after completing their higher education and the ones with vocation prospects tend to delay their pregnancy until they enter their 30s.
Thus, there is need to introduce universal policies or regulations for addressing the differences. On the other hand, the government agencies need to put in more efforts in this regards.
Maternity age and social demerit are two major factors linked with child mortality. Thereby, the government of UK keeping in mind these factors has determined the risks of kids of teen moms and provided these families with additional parenting support.
There is a medical assistance program known as Family Nurse Partnership provided to first time mothers under the age of 20 in England.
A trained nurse visits the mother on a regular basis starting from the initial pregnancy days until the child turns two years old. Though the program has fetched amazing results, it is not available for older moms.
Ruth further added that there is need for extending the Family Nurse Partnership program for older moms as well.
Other Vital Findings
Now let us move onto some other vital findings:
Firstly, the injuries are still the biggest factors of death in kids, but these are declining. Between the year 1980 and 2010, the injuries resulted for around 31% of all deaths in one to four year children and 48% of the deaths in the ones aged between 15 to 18.
England managed to reduce the mortality rates consistently caused due to injury compared to other countries in the United Kingdom, especially among older boys.
However, there was no reduction in the number of deaths caused because of intended injury or any kind of self-harm over a period of 30 years.
Dr. Hilary Cass, who is the authorized president of Royal College, stated that this is something that is worrisome.
Injuries are still the biggest worries, cause of child mortality, but it is plummeting, and thereby, we require creating public policies to deal with the issue.
The lack of descent in intended injuries requires strong focus to curb self-harm and violence in older kids.
Serious Disorders And Disabilities
The research was also able to reveal that around 70% of kids who die in the United Kingdom suffered from chronic problems such as epilepsy, cystic fibrosis or cancer.
Though this was not the only cause of deaths, it is likely to be some serious underlying risk factor.
Professor Gilbert stated that though the overall number of kids who are dying is plummeting, the perception was quite intricate by the ever-increasing number of kids who survive with serious disorders and disabilities, which means that hands-on care was up to the mark.
For a few kids with severe chronic problems and are likely to die, it means that there is need for good quality end of life medical assistance or care for the kids as well as their families, whereas, for others, the death might be premature or fully preventable.
Most of the kids with chronic problems are taken care of by their parents with some support from the community, local or federal services or agencies as well as healthcare institutions.
Gilbert concluded that there is need to concentrate on the quality of long-term health care at the home for these kids as well as in the hospitals.
This study has helped to unlock quite a few windows that educate us about the growing number of children mortality rate as well as an apparent idea about the number of women becoming pregnant at a very young age.