Journal of Public Health Policy

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 43–59 | Cite as

Child mortality in the Netherlands in the past decades: An overview of external causes and the role of public health policy

  • Sandra GijzenEmail author
  • Magda M Boere-Boonekamp
  • Monique P L'Hoir
  • Ariana Need
Original Article


Among European countries, the Netherlands has the second lowest child mortality rate from external causes. We present an overview, discuss possible explanations, and suggest prevention measures. We analyzed mortality data from all deceased children aged 0–19 years for the period 1969–2011. Child mortality declined in the past decades, largely from decreases in road traffic accidents that followed government action on traffic safety. Accidental drowning also showed a downward trend. Although intentional self-harm showed a significant increase, other external causes of mortality, including assault and fatal child abuse, remained constant. Securing existing preventive measures and analyzing the circumstances of each child’s death systematically through Child Death Review may guide further reduction in child mortality.


vital statistics cause of death child mortality trends Child Death Review 


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandra Gijzen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Magda M Boere-Boonekamp
    • 1
  • Monique P L'Hoir
    • 2
  • Ariana Need
    • 3
  1. 1.Department HTSRIGS Institute for Innovation and Governance Studies, University of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands
  2. 2.TNO Child HealthLeidenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department Public AdministrationIGS Institute for Innovation and Governance Studies, University of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands

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