By MEGAN HALL
Providence, RI – The Ocean State has the lowest rate of child deaths in the country. That's according to the latest Rhode Island Kids Count Factbook released Monday.
According to the latest yearly data from kids count, for every thousand children in Rhode Island, there are nine deaths. That's much better than the national average of 19 deaths per 1,000 children.
Kids Count's executive director Elizabeth Burke Bryant says it's proof that Rhode Island's efforts to make health insurance available to all children are working.
"It's a really encouraging sign to see us to do well on these health measures. It means really anything is possible once we connect children to the kid of health care they need," she said.
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Unfortunately, not all of the data around children's health is positive. Between 2009 and 2010, the number of kids who had to wait an average of two days for a bed in a psychiatric hospital increased by more than 300 percent. Burke-Bryant says the state needs to do a better job of providing preventative mental health services and getting mentally ill children the care they need to go back home.