KJZZ is a service of Rio Salado College,
and Maricopa Community Colleges

Copyright © 2024 KJZZ/Rio Salado College/MCCCD
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

The suicide rate for Arizona kids jumped 30% in 2020, report shows

Every year, the Arizona Department of Health Services releases its Child Fatality Review. It just provided its report for 2020, and it shows troubling signals. 

The report revealed 838 children died last year — 61 more deaths than in 2019. 

There was a 30% increase in suicide. The review says the greatest risk factors are access to firearms, maltreatment and mental health disorders.  

“One of those things that was really troubling in this year’s report that stood out to me is the pretty dramatic rise in child fatality from firearms. Notably, really, mostly handgun," said Arizona Public Health Association Executive Director Will Humble.

Humble says the report provides information for health experts to help improve child safety. 

“It is responsible for providing the information we have needed to the child safety seats in vehicles, safe sleep, it’s been enormously useful in identifying drowning as a huge public health issue," Humble said. 

Black, African American and Native American children accounted for disproportionately more deaths in the community. Black and African American children account for only 6% of children in Arizona, but accounted for 16% of infant deaths. 

Greg Hahne started as a news intern at KJZZ in 2020 and returned as a field correspondent in 2021. He learned his love for radio by joining Arizona State University's Blaze Radio, where he worked on the production team.