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Fla. Child Abuse Deaths Decrease

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(Photo credit: JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo credit: JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK/AFP/Getty Images)

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Nearly 150 children were fatally abused in Florida in 2010, a decrease from around 200 in 2009.

The Department of Health recently confirmed 136 child abuse deaths in 2010 and 11 deaths from the previous year in a preliminary report. That’s roughly a 20 percent decrease from 2009. It’s also a drop from 2008 when there were also about 200 verified child abuse deaths.

The latest figures are a marked increase from 163 child deaths in 2007. Officials said domestic violence and substance abuse play a role each year.

But researchers say the figures have spiked and dropped in the past decade with no consistent trends.

According to the new report, drowning was the highest cause of death, claiming 42 lives. Twenty-one died from unsafe sleeping environments.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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