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Healthy People 2010 - With Annotations

Chapter 15

Injury and Violence Prevention
Lead Agency: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Goal: Reduce injuries, disabilities, and deaths due to unintentional injuries and violence.

15-6. (Developmental) Extend State-level child fatality review of deaths due to external causes for children aged 14 years and under.

Potential data sources: National Vital Statistics System (NVSS), CDC, NCHS; Inter-Agency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect (ICAN) National Database, FBI Uniform Crime Report, U.S. Department of Justice.

Death resulting from injury is one of the most profound public health issues facing children in the United States today. In 1997, nearly 19,000 children aged 19 years and under were victims of injury -- 33 percent from violence and 67 percent from unintentional injury.(30)

In examination of these trends in childhood injury-related cause of death, information has typically come from one of several sources (vital statistics, protective service records, and the FBI Uniform Crime Report), each with specific limitations. In response to the increasing trend of violence against children and the lack of a comprehensive data source on violent childhood deaths, the Child Fatality Review Team (CFRT) process was developed in 1978 in California.

The goal of the CFR teams is the prevention of childhood fatalities. Their responsibility is to review so-called "suspicious" or "preventable" childhood fatalities. Minimal or core standards for CFR teams must include representatives from criminal justice, health, and social services. After integrating information from multiple sources, review teams strive to determine if the cause and manner of death were recorded accurately and suggest prevention initiatives for all relevant agencies. Simply reviewing fatalities is not helpful unless recommendations for prevention also are included and plans are made for periodic followup to ensure that recommendations are being acted on.

Focusing on children aged 14 years and under will include most "unexplained" childhood deaths and is considered a more reasonable goal to achieve. However, States should continue to improve their CFRT systems. Teams with adequate resources are encouraged to extend their review to all causes of death for all children aged 18 years and under as their ultimate goal. CFR teams also should include culturally appropriate members.

Read Operational Definition for this Objective

Read Overview of Injuries

Back to HP 2010 Injury Objectives Page

Last modified: 22-Aug-2001.