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2012 Paediatric Death Review Committee and Deaths Under Five Committee Annual Report Released

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2012 Paediatric Death Review Committee and Deaths Under Five Committee Annual Report Released

Includes Public Safety Recommendations for Parents and Caregivers

Dr. Bert Lauwers, Deputy Chief Coroner, today announced the release of the combined 2012 Report of the Paediatric Death Review Committee and the Deaths Under Five Committee.

Working under the leadership of the Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario, the purpose of the Paediatric Death Review Committee and the Deaths Under Five Committee is to assist the Office of the Chief Coroner in the investigation and review of deaths of children and to make recommendations to help prevent deaths in similar circumstances. The 2012 report contains data from the review of 231 deaths of children under the age of 19 in 2011. It finds that after natural deaths, accidental death is the most frequent and most preventable type of death among children. Prevention strategies highlighted in the report include: Reducing deaths in children due to unsafe sleeping environments by:

  • Never placing a baby to sleep on an adult mattress, sofa or pillow.
  • Never allowing an infant to share a bed with an adult or older sibling.
Reducing deaths in motor vehicle collisions by:
  • Always wearing your seatbelt and ensuring children are in a proper car seat designed for their age, weight and height.
  • Wearing a helmet when riding a bicycle, skateboard, scooter or when in-line skating.
Reducing deaths of children in fire fatalities by:
  • Installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Practicing a fire escape plan and teaching children not to play with matches and lighters.
Reducing deaths of children due to drowning by:
  • Always supervising your children around water, including bath tubs.
  • Ensuring children wear life jackets around water.
Also highlighted in this year's annual report is a series of articles submitted by outside authors, including physicians, the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth, the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies, and the Ministry of Children and Youth Services. Members of the Paediatric Death Review and Deaths Under Five Committees include coroners, medical and child welfare experts, police, pathologists, a child maltreatment expert and a Crown Attorney.

Quick Facts

  • 67% of all undetermined infant deaths in 2009 involved an unsafe sleeping environment including a shared sleep surface.
  • The best place for an infant to sleep is on their back in an approved crib, bassinet or cradle with a firm mattress.
  • Accidents accounted for 32% of all deaths in children age 0 to 18 in 2009.
  • Suicide was responsible for 15% of deaths in children age 10-15 and 23% of deaths in 16 to 18 year olds.

Additional Resources

Quotes

“The new format of this year's Paediatric Death Review Committee and Deaths Under Five Committee Annual Report is designed to provide important messages aimed at parents, caregivers, physicians and Children's Aid Workers in order to increase public safety and prevent avoidable deaths.”

Dr. Bert Lauwers

Deputy Chief Coroner and Chair of the Paediatric Death Review Committee

Media Contacts

  • Jennifer Kerr

    Ontario Forensic Pathology Service & Office of the Chief Coroner

    416-314-4005

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