Panel Wants Child Death Reviews, Uniform Reporting from Coroners

NOVEMBER 15, 2004 - Posted at 4:40 p.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Members of a state commission want legislators to give them the authority to establish regional teams to review child deaths in Arkansas.

Some officials say the state lacks enough information on the causes of child deaths to develop prevention programs.  The federal Centers for Disease Control says about 1,965 Arkansas children 18 and younger died between 1999 and 2001.

Also recommended to lawmakers: setting training and reporting standards for coroners and their deputies as an important first step in collecting and analyzing data on child deaths to help lower the numbers.

Under the state Child Abuse, Rape and Domestic Violence Commission's proposal, the regional child death review teams would be comprised of coroners, emergency services personnel, law enforcement, health care public officials and others that can provide case information.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)