The death of a child is a tragedy not only for their family, but also for our communities- and finding ways to save kids’ lives is a sentinel public health goal.  But- as is always the case- finding solutions and implementing effective public health interventions requires solid data collection and analysis.  That’s where the annual Child Fatality Review Report comes in.

Each year the statewide child fatality review team analyzes each child death in AZ.  This year, pediatricians, social workers, attorneys, advocates, law enforcement and others volunteered more than 5,700 hours to investigate every child death in Arizona.  The Team published their data analysis report today.

Today’s report is the 18th annual Child Fatality Review Report – which continues the tradition of proposing a series of evidence-based recommendations and public health intervention ideas to save kid’s lives.  These reports have been very successful in saving lives over the last few years.  For example, interventions implemented as a result of previous report recommendations have reduced deaths from prematurity by 40% in the last 3 years (from 321 to 197) by sparking preconception health initiatives.  Transportation deaths have fallen by more than 50% (from 122 to 61) through better awareness of the importance of using car seats and buckling up.  Sudden Infant Death Syndrome deaths have dramatically decreased- by almost 100% (37 to 1) by spurring better awareness of safe sleeping (putting kids to sleep on their backs).

You get the idea- by collecting and analyzing the who, what, when, where, and how’s- AZ’s child fatality review team is able to identify intervention strategies and identify partners that change policies and implement interventions that can make a real difference and save lives.  Well done.  Your work makes a difference every day.