Alarming Number of Children Committing Suicide in The US
Elementary age children committing suicide is a double tragedy, for any family to suffer the loss of a child is devastating, suicide makes it worse. Children killing themselves brings so many questions, it was not that long ago that kids didn’t even know what suicide was. So what is so awful that kids cannot bear it? Why are more black kids killing themselves than white ones? New research is trying to find answers.
Lead researcher of the study and principal investigator at Nationwide Children’s Hospital Jeff Bridge states he was surprised by the results, “Historically, blacks of any age have lower rates of suicide than whites. In fact, we thought we had made a mistake in the analysis. We actually went back and ran the analysis again to make sure we had done it correctly.”
The suicide rate for white children has noticeably decreased, from 1.14 per million children to 0.77, the rate for black children is 2.54 per million from 1.36. Over 80% are boys, 84% to be exact, 553 boys during the 20 year study period, compared to 104 girls. The study looked at suicides by children aged 5-11 from 1993 to 2012.
When children kill themselves the most common method is hanging or suffocation, at 78.2%. Suicide is the second highest cause of death in those aged 12-19, and the 11th from ages 5-11, for most people those numbers are just way too high.
The fact that adolescent suicide has increased exponentially, for young black boys, is a huge cause for concern. More studies are needed to identify those at risk and prevent it as much as possible. Deaths can rip apart and devastate a family, deaths by suicide are even harder for parents to bear.
Every day we are trying to make the world a safer place for our children, we urge them to eat their vegetables, wear a bicycle helmet, we walk them to school, we supervise parties, we hire lifeguards and babysitters. Most parents do not think they need to talk to a kindergarten child about suicide prevention, but apparently they do. Our children are killed by cancer, accidents, abuse, and diseases; we need to do something to prevent any deaths we possibly can, especially from suicide, at any age.