Alcohol's role in the deaths of BC children and youth

Can J Public Health. May-Jun 2002;93(3):173-5. doi: 10.1007/BF03404994.


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.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / mortality
  • Adolescent
  • Alcoholism / complications
  • Alcoholism / epidemiology*
  • British Columbia / epidemiology
  • Cause of Death
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drowning / mortality
  • Female
  • Homicide / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Mortality*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Sudden Infant Death / epidemiology
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data