Alcohol’s Role in the Deaths of BC Children and Youth
Objective: To determine the prevalence and context of alcohol use in the deaths of children and youth reviewed by the BC Children’s Commission.
Methods: In 489 case reviews of BC children and youth, we examined the role that alcohol may have had at the time of death or whether there was a history of alcohol use either by the deceased child or another person in the child’s life.
Results: Alcohol is most prevalent in the lives of 15–18 year olds. It is present at the time of death in two fifths of Motor Vehicle Incidents (MVI) and one third of suicides and drownings.
Interpretation: Alcohol has a profound presence in the lives and deaths of children reviewed by the Children’s Commission. Enhancing deterrence laws and alcohol control policies, and increasing public awareness are warranted.
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