Non-surprisingly much of this high ranking is due to traffic accidents:
South Korea ranked third among the member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in terms of accident-linked deaths for children, a report showed Wednesday.
South Korea reported that 8.7 out of every 100,000 children under 15 years old died annually at the end of 2005 due to traffic accidents, drowning, falls and other injuries, according to the report by the National Statistical Office.
It is the third highest rate among the 25 member countries of the OECD following Mexico and the United States which reported death rates of 13.6 and 9.2 respectively. The OECD average stood at 5.6, the report showed.
Between 1991 and 1995, South Korea had topped the list in terms of child death rates with 25.6 out of every 100,000 losing lives due to accidents.
Traffic accidents accounted for 42.7 percent of the total deaths, followed by drowning with 20 percent. Falls made up 7.9 percent of deaths, while murder and suicides took up 8.7 percent and 5.3 percent, the report showed.
Accident-linked deaths of children have been dropping since peaking in 1988. In 2007, the number of children’s deaths caused by accidents plunged by a third to 561 compared with a decade ago thanks to a sharp decline in children-involved traffic accidents, according to the report. [Yonhap]
This number of children deaths actually dropped significantly in 2007 but is on the rise again:
From 1991 through 1995, Korea’s figure stood at 25.6 children out of every 100,000, larger than Mexico’s 19.8 and Portugal’s 17.8. In 2007, the number fell ? by one-third to 6.7 ? though no comparable figures were available for other OECD countries.
From 2005 through 2007, an annual average of 666 children were killed, with boys accounting for 64 percent of the total. Children were more prone to fatal accidents on Sundays, accounting for 16.3 percent of the total. Nearly 8 percent of child deaths happened at 6 p.m. In spring and summer when children are most physically active outdoors, they are more likely to become a victim.
By region, children living in rural areas are more subject to accidental deaths mainly because of poor road safety. By province, about 12.4 children per 100,000 died in South Jeolla, followed by North Gyeongsang with 12.2. [Korea Times]
I couldn’t find a break down on whether the majority of US accidental deaths of children to compare fatal aciddental trends of children. Korea has also made strides in reducing fatal traffic accidents by leading the OECD in traffic accidents in 2007 and in 2008 finishing third in fatal traffic accidents. Only Turkey and Hungary commit more fatal traffic accidents then Korea. However, Korea’s traffic accidents is still double the OECD average, but traffic safety is generally trending in the right direction.