Hanging deaths in children

Am J Forensic Med Pathol. 1998 Dec;19(4):343-6. doi: 10.1097/00000433-199812000-00009.


Relatively little is known about death in children following hanging. This 12-year retrospective study in southeast Scotland revealed 12 such deaths among children <15 years of age, involving 10 boys and 2 girls. The rate of hanging deaths was 0.7 deaths/100,000 children/year and was equal to that from falls in children during this time period. The children who died following hanging were aged between 4 and 14 years. All 12 children were in cardiac arrest when found, and 11 were declared dead at the scene, demonstrating the limited potential to reduce the death rate through improved treatment. Scrutiny of the circumstances surrounding each death suggested that 6 of the deaths were accidents and 6 were suicides. There appears to be some, albeit limited, potential to prevent some hanging deaths in children through increased parental supervision, education, and restriction of access to ligatures.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accident Prevention
  • Accidents*
  • Adolescent
  • Asphyxia*
  • Caregivers
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Suicide*