It’s a troubling statistic: almost forty percent of child fatalities in the state are preventable.

Those were the results the State’s Child Advocate Jeanne Milstein shared with top state officials Tuesday of a study of the 1,536 child deaths in the last decade.

“We can do so much more to prevent these tragedies,” said Milstein, who expects the final report to be released in the next few weeks.

But it wasn’t all grim news. Milstein says that while only 55 percent of child fatalities were from natural causes, the numbers of accidental deaths from things like a child drowning or from a car crash are on the decline.

“I know it’s because of prevention activities,” she said.

The state has in recent years began public awareness campaigns for various issues including importance to wearing seatbelt and not to leave children unattended by swimming pools.

Jeanne Milstein with Sen. Beth Bye

Legislators earlier this year also overhauled the school bullying law in attempt to reduce youth suicides. There have been 77 youth suicides in the last decade, some as young as 10 years old, Milstein said.

Elaine Zimmerman, the executive director of the Connecticut Commission on Children, said prevention methods is the key to bringing the numbers down even further.

“There’s a whole series of places we can make sure it’s embedded,” she said.

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