We published our 17th Annual Child Fatality Review Report this week. Our interdisciplinary team reviewed each and every childhood death that occurred in 2009 with the goal of figuring out how each child died, so that we as public health officials, medical practitioners, families, parents and policymakers can design and implement strategies for avoiding preventable deaths in the future. This annual report has been very valuable over time because it has often found simple ways to prevent deaths (e.g. SIDS, Car Seats, etc.). This report is used by many of our stakeholders to guide program planning and interventions. The report includes recommendations that address child passenger safety, suicide investigation, reporting of suspected maltreatment and child injury prevention.
While the number of deaths among children declined between 2008 and 2009, 33% of the childhood deaths last year were preventable. Three-fourths of the deaths among children ages 15-17 were from non-medical causes and 70% of these deaths were preventable. In many cases, simply buckling up would have made a difference. Fewer kids died in Arizona in 2009. A total of 947 children died in 2009 compared to 1,038 in 2008. Lack of supervision was the primary factor in 66% of the 122 home injury related deaths, which included drowning, falls and infant sleep environments. The recommendations of the interdisciplinary team are located at the end of the report.