A child’s death is a tragedy, not only for family and friends but also for the community as a whole. Unfortunately, over 2 children die each day in Arizona. In 2011, 837 children died. This was a decline from 2010 when 862 children died. In fact, since 2005, Arizona has seen a decline in child deaths of almost 29%. Child fatality review began in Arizona in 1993 and since then, deaths of children have been reviewed with the results published in an annual report.   

The Arizona Child Fatality Review Program reviews the circumstances of each child’s death, determines preventability and makes recommendations to save children’s lives. The decrease in deaths can be attributed to many of the initiatives recommended by the Annual Child Fatality Review Report. This year, the Nineteenth Annual Report makes recommendations to families, health care providers, social service agencies, and the communities in which children live.

We put together a tip sheet with resources that everyone can use to help keep our children safe.    Through community action we’ve had success in reducing the number of sleep-related deaths; 64 in 2011, down from 77 in 2010. A concerted effort in our communities helped deliver safe sleep education to community events, classes and schools, home visiting programs and hospitals to parents of infants, reminding them to always place a baby to sleep in his or her crib and always on his or her back.

Unfortunately, there has been an increase in other types of child deaths, including those associated with substance use, child suicides, transportation-related deaths, homicides and maltreatment deaths.  There is much work to be done in our communities to help save the lives of children. Please take a moment to review the Nineteenth Annual Child Fatality Review Report and take action in your community.