Welcome to the Section on Child Death Review and Prevention. Pediatricians reviewing child deaths now have a home within the AAP to collaborate with other members to “improve the health and well-being of infants, children, adolescents, and young adults by supporting pediatricians and other professionals involved in reviewing deaths and help prevent fatality and near fatality.”  

The death of a child should be a sentinel event for a community, prompting it to explore ways to prevent future deaths. Now that we have eliminated so many infection-related deaths through immunizations, there remain other reasons why children die from what could be preventable deaths—premature birth, infant safe sleep issues, child abuse, child passenger issues, drowning, suicide, teen driving and all-terrain vehicle crashes to name a few.  There are several multidisciplinary approaches to reviewing the circumstances of child deaths to learn how to prevent future child deaths and serious injury, and pediatricians play an important role by participating in their community’s death review processes.  CDR teams now exist in all 50 US states and most territories, and a substantial proportion of all U.S. child deaths are now being reviewed.  

When a team assembles to review a case, a story unfolds as to the circumstances surrounding the death.  Questions are used to probe where breakdowns in systems may have occurred; the goal is not to assign blame to a particular agency or individual, but rather to determine how to prevent future deaths.  Death review teams partner with organizations that have safety as their mission and use these organizations to implement prevention strategies.  

The Section will focus initial activities developing resources and disseminating information about reviewing deaths to members.  It will be a priority not to duplicate efforts of existing AAP sections or the National Center for the Review and Prevention of Child Deaths, but rather learn how our expertise can complement what already exists. Activities will focus on education such as CME webinars and NCE programming, and collaboration chiefly with AAP Chapters to develop local resources and relationships with state and local death review teams.  Section members plan to partner with the AAP and national organizations to spearhead further development of death review and prevention strategies at the national, state, and local levels. 

Membership is open to all members and affiliates of the AAP. The Executive Committee looks forward to hearing from you through our listserv, at our meetings and programming, and through your Chapter and District leadership. Please contact us to become a member, further information, and to learn about this exciting new section at your AAP.