Children more than 100 times less likely to die from COVID than adults, study finds

Children account for less than 0.15% of all COVID deaths in the United States, according to official data.

Published: February 5, 2023 2:57pm

Updated: February 5, 2023 11:18pm

Children are more than 100 times less likely to die from COVID-19 than adults, even as the virus ranks as the eighth most likely cause of death for children, according to a new study. 

Overall, children ages 0-19 die from COVID at a rate of 1 per 100,000, with that rate dropping significantly to an average of .5 per 100,000 for children ages 1 to 14 from August 2021 through July 2022, according to a study published last week by JAMA Network

COVID constituted 2% of all deaths in children, while unintentional injuries accounted for 18.4% of child deaths and 6.8% were from suicide. This means that children are over nine times more likely to die in an accident and over three times more likely to die from suicide than they are from COVID.

During this same time period, adults died from COVID at a rate of 109 per 100,000, making children more than a hundred times less likely to die from COVID than adults.

According to data released Sunday by the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, COVID has led to 337.36 deaths per 100,000 people in the United States. While the methodology is different from that in the JAMA study, it still suggests that COVID is significantly less deadly for children than for the overall population.

Children's far lower risk from the virus is further reinforced by Center for Disease Control and Prevention data released Wednesday showing that children account for less than 0.15% of all COVID deaths.

Meanwhile, research from the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, run by a British medical charity, found that mask-wearing "probably makes little to no difference" in preventing the spread of COVID or influenza. 

Despite this, schools in some states, such as Michigan and Massachusetts, reinstated mask mandates as recently as last month in an effort to stop the spread of the virus.

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