Keeping Kids Alive National Symposium 2009

May 20 – 22, 2009
Grand Hyatt
Washington, DC

A National Symposium of State Child Death Review, Injury Prevention, and Maternal and Child Health; and National Child Health and Safety Leaders

Building Bridges to Improve Child Health and Safety and to Save Lives

The Purpose of the Symposium

The Sobering Statistics

The death of a child is the unimaginable nightmare come true. But each year in the United States, almost 54,000 children between the ages of birth and age 19 die. This means that in every hour of every day, at least six children will die. And every day, almost 150 children will die. Almost half of these children are babies who die before reaching their first birthday. On average,

Every day in the United States:

  • 62 babies will die from congenital disorders, low birth weight or prematurity
  • 21 children will die in a car crash
  • 8 or more youth will be murdered
  • 6 or more children will die from cancer
  • 5 or more youth will kill themselves
  • 5 or more babies will die from SIDS
  • 3 children will drown

Every week in the United States

  • 17 children will be suffocated
  • 12 children will die from poisoning
  • 10 children will die in a fire
  • 3 children will die from an accidental shooting

So What is Being Done?

Most of these deaths could have been prevented, if a person, an agency, a community or government had done something differently. To find out and act on what should be done differently to protect children; professionals are coming together in almost every state as members of community and state Child Death Review Teams. They share information on their child deaths, identify the risk factors in these deaths, and take action to put programs and policies in place to prevent other deaths. At the same time, State Maternal and Child Health Programs and State Injury and Violence Prevention Programs are collecting, analyzing and using data on maternal and child health, injuries and deaths to assess, plan and evaluate programs and policies to keep children and families healthy and safe.

This inaugural event brought together state leadership for Maternal and Child Health, Injury Prevention and Child Death Review, building bridges across all three sectors, in order to increase state capacity to build programs and policies that improve child health and safety and saves lives.

The Goals of the Symposium

  1. Enhance the capacity of state Child Death Review programs to develop, manage or sustain effective prevention-focused CDR programs.
  2. Enhance the ability of CDR, Injury and MCH programs to collect, analyze, report and integrate their data so as to enhance the CDR system.
  3. Improve the connection between and integration of state Child Death Review, state Injury Prevention and MCH programs to better utilize and integrate CDR findings and other state data and programs to improve child health and safety.
  4. Build bridges between key national organizations and Child Death Review in order to enhance resources for CDR and utilize CDR findings for national child health and safety policy.
  5. Strengthen the network of child death review advocates including state CDR, injury, MCH and national child health and safety organizations.

To see a list of the presentations and download powerpoint slides:

Schedule by Day


The funding for the Symposium was generously provided by two federal partners:

  • The Department of Justice’s Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
  • The Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau

Symposium Organizers

The National Center for Child Death Review

The Center provides technical assistance and training to states and communities to assist them in establishing and managing effective child death review teams. The Center also manages the national CDR Case Reporting System. The Center networks with national partners to develop strategies, policies and programs to prevent deaths and ensure child health and safety at a national level.

The Children’s Safety Network
CSN is a resource center for maternal and child health and injury prevention professionals in state and territorial health departments who are committed to reducing injuries and violence among children and adolescents. CSN staff provides expertise, resources, and contacts injury and can help develop, implement, and evaluate injury and violence prevention activities.

Symposium Planning Committee

State Representatives
Susan Anderson, Hawaii
Debbie Barnes-Josiah, Nebraska
Aretha Bracey, Alabama
Allison Chaney, Indiana
Joann Dotson, Montana
Michael Haney, Florida
Maurine Hill, Missouri
Heidi Hilliard, Michigan
Sally Kerschner, Vermont
Chris Kus, New York
Gina LaGarde, Louisiana
Patrick Malone, Vermont
Rochelle Manchego, Colorado
Anne Pedrick, Delaware
Tomi St Mars, Arizona
Theresa Sappenfield, Iowa
Jamie Smith, Arizona
Faith VosWinkle, Connecticut
Steve Wirtz, California
Vick Zittle, Pennsylvania

National Center for Child Death Review
Teri Covington
Tina Phillips
Anissa Stanley

Children’s Safety Network
Jennifer Allison
Sally Fogerty
Ellen Schmidt

Very special appreciation for helping to organize and manage the Symposium goes to the staff of the National Center for Child Death Review, the Children’s Safety Network, the Michigan Public Health Institute and the Fatality Review Program of the District of Columbia.

Download a copy of the Symposium brochure.