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Arizona Child Fatality Review Program Twenty-Sixth Annual Report

Perfette, Jessica.;Gardner, Kyle.;Garlington, Teresa.;Brennhofer, Stephanie. – 2019

This report shares findings from the Arizona Child Fatality Review Program that explored the causes and contributing factors associated with child deaths in 2018 to identify recommendations addressing preventable fatalities of children. Statistics are shared on preventable deaths, natural deaths, unintentional injury, sudden unexpected infant death and sleep related suffocation deaths, maltreatment deaths, motor vehicle crash and other transport deaths, suicides, homicides, drowning deaths, firearm related deaths, and substance use related deaths. Results from the review indicate 843 children under 18 years of age died in Arizona in 2018, and that 327 (39%) were preventable. It reports substance use was a direct or contributing factor in 105 deaths, and 16 of these deaths were opiate overdose deaths. The Arizona childhood mortality rate increased 4.1% in 2018, there was a 28% increase in suicide deaths, a 13% increase in motor vehicle crash (MVC) deaths, and a 10% increase in deaths from medical conditions. The five leading causes of all deaths were prematurity, congenital anomalies, motor vehicle crashes, firearm injury, and cancer. Child fatalities due to maltreatment decreased 5% from 2017 (n=79) to 2018 (n=75) and accounted for 9% of all child deaths in Arizona. Data indicate blunt force trauma deaths accounted for 19% (n=14) of maltreatment deaths, 75% (n=56) of children who died due to maltreatment were less than 5 years old, child neglect caused or contributed to 77% of the deaths (n=58), in 91% (n=68) of maltreatment deaths, the perpetrator was the child’s mother or father, and substance use was a factor in 53% (n=40) of maltreatment deaths. Deaths continued to be disproportionately higher among some race/ethnicities in Arizona during 2018 and varied by cause and/or manner of death. Appendices provide statistics on child deaths by age group.