A significant proportion of infant and child deaths are preventable. Of the 55,861 deaths of children ages 14 years and younger in the United States in 1989, over three fourths occurred in children under the age of 2 years. Approximately one third of the latter were unexpected, including those due to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or trauma, or deaths that were otherwise unexplained. Child abuse deaths occur in greatest numbers among infants, followed by those in toddlers and preschool children.

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