A study published today shows that the US has the highest聽rate of child mortality in the developed world, meaning that out of the 20 nations studied, children in our country are more likely to die from disease, violence, or injury than in any other prosperous nation.

The broad-ranging study looked at multiple聽countries between 1961 and 2010 and found that the US was drastically less safe for children living here than other industrialized nations. Not only is it less safe, but it鈥檚 been slow to improve. While the rest of the world got safer, our rate of improvement did not move as quickly or as drastically as others, especially due to high levels of gun deaths among children.

鈥淔rom 2001 to 2010 the risk of death in the US was 76 percent greater for infants and 57 percent greater for children ages 1 to 19,鈥 the study鈥檚 intro states. 鈥淒uring this decade, children ages 15 to 19 were 82 times more likely to die from gun homicide in the US.鈥

鈥淭his study should alarm everyone. The US is the most dangerous of wealthy, democratic countries in the world for children,鈥 said Dr. Ashish Thakrar, lead author of the study and an internal medicine resident at Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System in Baltimore toldCNN.聽

The US also has the highest maternal mortality rate in the industrialized world, inconsistencies in postnatal care, unreasonably high rates of unnecessary C-sections, and a tendency for male doctors to dismiss women鈥檚 health concerns. Our lack of paid maternity leave is also likely to blame.

Lindsay Stark, an associate professor of population and family health at Columbia University鈥檚 Mailman School of Public Health, agrees that there are factors unique to the US that make our mortality rates so much higher (she did not participate in the study).

鈥淭here were no major differences between the US and other countries in terms of infectious disease or cardiovascular disease,鈥 Stark said to CNN. 鈥淭he main reason the US is lagging behind other nations is because of perinatal mortality, including maternal conditions affecting a fetus or newborn, and injuries, mostly due to firearms.鈥

鈥淲hat these findings clearly show is that there are areas where the US could be preventing child deaths, and we are failing to do so 鈥 due to gaps in public policy, a weak social safety net and persisting social disparities that affect families鈥, mothers鈥 and children鈥檚 health unequally,鈥 she said, adding, 鈥渢he future of any country is its children, so at a fundamental level, we can see a country鈥檚 investment in its future in the way children are surviving and thriving.鈥

Study lead Thakrar agrees, urging a change in policy. 鈥淓very child deserves the opportunity to live a full, healthy and safe life,鈥 he concluded. 鈥淭hese findings show that we are not living up to that promise and that we have fallen short of that promise for the last 30 years.鈥

What do you think of this recent child mortality study? Let us know @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)