Child Fatality Review

Overview | State Child Fatality Review | Protocol | Reports | Additional Resources | Contact

jumpingforjoyEach year in Virginia, hundreds of children die as a result of motor vehicle collisions or other unintentional injuries, sudden infant deaths related to improper sleep environments, and violence including homicides or suicides. These deaths are tragically premature and preventable. The Chief Medical Examiner is committed to reducing the number of these deaths with public health projects such as fatality review.

Child fatality review involves examination of the precise details of child deaths to determine how they could be prevented and to make recommendations for education, training and intervention. Conducted in the spirit of public health, child death review highlights changes needed in health care, education, social services, and death investigation practices. It is a powerful tool supporting social change. Findings from child death review have dramatically altered our understanding of childhood violence and injury patterns, as well as the risk factors that shape those tragic events. They have impacted product recalls through the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, recommendations of the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission and the American Academy of Pediatrics, and numerous policies and practices at state and local child-serving agencies.

Virginia’s child fatality review teams were established in statute by the General Assembly and are conducted at both the state and local level. See the following links for Virginia’s laws on child death review teams: