While parents and health care providers have been laser focused on the pandemic this year, members of the North Carolina Child Fatality Task Force  (CFTF) offered some sobering numbers last week about overall child injury trends.
The legislative study commission noted that while trips to the emergency room were down overall, the state has recorded a troubling rise in child deaths due to gunfire.
The findings underscore the need for a greater investment in mental health services in addition to recurring funding for school psychologists and nurses.
Figures in today’s Monday numbers column come from the Child Fatality Task Force and the NC Division of Public Health.
-31% — decrease in injuries requiring an emergency room visits among children (0-17) between 2019-2020
319 — number of child injury deaths in our state in 2020, a 15% increase from 2019 (this figure includes
motor vehicle traffic injuries, overdoses, firearm injuries and child maltreatment)
460 — number of child deaths in NC due to firearm injury, 2010-2019
105 — number in 2020 (64 from an assault, 31 self-inflicted, 9 unintentional, and 1 undetermined)
88% — increase from 2019 to 2020 (105 in 2020, 56 in 2019)
20 — number of suicide deaths for non-Hispanic white children in 2019
37 — number in 2020
8 — number of suicide deaths for non-Hispanic Black children in 2019
9 — number in 2020
6 — number of suicide deaths among Hispanic children in 2019
50+% — share of gun owners who store least one gun unsafely (Source: American Journal of Public Health)
75+% — share of guns used in suicide attempts and unintentional injuries of kids that were stored in the home of the victim, relative, or a friend
146 — the number of days since the House passed (116-1) House Bill 427 (Firearm Safe Storage Awareness Initiative )
145 — the number of days since HB 427  was sent to the Senate Rules Committee where it has languished. 
43% — increase in unintentional drug overdose emergency room visits (among children 15-17) between 2019 and 2020.
24% — increase in child abuse/neglect emergency room visits increased between 2019 and 2020
1,211 to 1 — estimated ratio of students per school psychologist in the U.S. (Source: National Center for Education Statistics)
1,900 to 1 — estimated ratio in North Carolina
$1.7 million — amount of funding in the House budget to establish a School Psychologists Grant Program
$40.9 million — amount of funding in the Senate budget to ensure that every school district in the state has a school psychologist
$40 million — amount of funding Gov. Cooper’s proposed budget would allocate in the first year of the biennium for psychologists, school nurses, counselors and other “instructional support personnel”
$80 million — amount it would allocate in the second year of the biennium
0 — amount earmarked in the House and Senate budgets to create a State Office of Child Fatality Prevention (SB 703  would create a state support system to coordinate and support local teams, data, etc.)
Click here  to view the entire September 20th presentation to the North Carolina Child Fatality Task Force.