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Child Death Review


Child deaths are often regarded as indicators of the health of a community. Alabama's greatest resource is its children. The Alabama Child Death Review System (ACDRS) was created on September 11, 1997, in order to review, evaluate, and prevent cases of unexpected and unexplained child death. ACDRS's mission is to understand how and why children die in Alabama to prevent other child deaths.

ACDRS, which includes both state and local child death review teams, focuses on prevention through statistical analysis, education, advocacy efforts, and local community involvement. Our most current data is reflected in the following information:

Sleep-Related Deaths

In 2018, 42 child deaths were sleep-related. Many of these deaths could have been prevented by following safe sleep practices, including not allowing an infant to co-sleep with other children or adults and keeping cribs clutter-free. More information can be located at the ABCs of Sleeping Babies.

Teen Driving, ATV Safety, & Child Safety Seats

Vehicular fatalities are the single largest category of accidental child deaths in Alabama. Many of these deaths involve teenage drivers. In 2018, Alabama had 63 child deaths related to motor vehicle accidents. Drive Safe and Teen Driving are sites dedicated to helping teens become safer, less distracted drivers.

Children younger than 16 are twice as likely to be injured while riding an Adult ATV than a Youth ATV. The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend ATVs for children and teens 16 or younger. Just by following these key safety tips, many deaths and injuries related to ATVs can be prevented.

Most children under 13 killed in car crashes in 2016 were not secured in car seats, booster seats, or seat belts. Children are more likely than adults to be injured because they have softer bones, weaker neck muscles, and more fragile bodies. Get free help with your car seat by finding a certified car seat technician in your community. Learn more about child safety seats and how to find a child safety seat inspection by visiting our Injury Prevention Branch.

Firearm Safety and Suicide Prevention

In 2018, there were 31 firearms, weapons, or assault-related child deaths. By reviewing simple guidelines and keeping weapons out of the reach of children, many of these deaths can be prevented. You can find more information about gun safety at Eddie Eagle and Child Safe.

In 2018, there were 12 child suicide deaths in communities around Alabama. Help is available. If you, a friend, or relative need help or more information, please visit our suicide page or call 1-800-273-TALK.

SUIDI Training

Our most recent SUIDI Training was completed at the Tuscaloosa Law Enforcement Academy in September 2023. Law enforcement officers, coroners and others came from across Alabama to attend the training, which focused on investigating sleep-related deaths and child abuse cases. Information about upcoming trainings will be posted here.

Page last updated: March 6, 2024