Child Death Review (CDR)

The mission of the Louisiana Child Death Review is to understand how and why children die unexpectedly in Louisiana to prevent as many future injuries and deaths as possible. This is accomplished through a comprehensive review of the circumstances that contributed to each death by a teams of diverse, multidisciplinary professionals in law enforcement, healthcare, and other state agencies.

About CDR

The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH), Office of Public Health (OPH), Bureau of Family Health (BFH), coordinates the Child Death Review (CDR) Program. As mandated by Louisiana Revised Statute 40:2019, CDRs are conducted for unexpected deaths of children under 15 years of age. State and local panels meet to review child deaths, identify risk factors, and provide recommendations for preventive action. The Louisiana CDR Program is primarily funded through the Federal Title V Maternal and Child Health Block Grant and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) Case Registry grant.

What We Know

Injury is the leading cause of death in children. Between 2019 and 2021, 667 infants and children died due to injury. More than one third of all infant (less than 1 year of age) and child (ages 1-14 years) deaths in Louisiana are due to injury and are preventable. During this time period, Louisiana ranked in the top ten states with the highest mortality rates for infants and children in almost all age groups.

Important CDR 2019-2021 Data Highlights
  • In infants, most injury-related deaths occur in the sleep environment and are classified as Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths (SUIDs).
  • 70% of sleep-related deaths in Louisiana occurred by 4 months of age.
  • The 2019-2021 Louisiana mortality rate for children ages 1 to 14 years was 24.4 deaths per 100,000 children compared to the national rate of 16.5 per 100,000 children for the same time period. If Louisiana had the same mortality rate as the U.S., 67 fewer children would have died per year.
  • From 2019-2021, an average of 106 children died from injuries each year. The majority of injury deaths were due to motor vehicle crashes, homicide, and drowning.
  • In Louisiana, Black children and Black infants are more than twice as likely to die as their white counterparts. Addressing structural and socioeconomic inequities at community and institutional levels will help reduce health disparities, and overall infant and child fatalities.
What Can Be Done

Injury and violence prevention is essential to creating a healthy environment for all Louisiana children. Not only are injury and violence a leading cause of death for Louisiana children, but it can leave a lifelong impact on those who survive. Injury and violence prevention efforts aim to stop injury before they happen so children, families and communities can feel safe. To learn more about injury prevention efforts in your region, see our Maternal and Child Health Coordinators contact page.