Child fatalities are the most tragic consequence of maltreatment. During 2008, an estimated 1,740 children died from abuse or neglect in the United States a rate of 2.33 deaths per 100,000 children. Use the following resources to find additional information on the prevalence of child fatalities.
Child Maltreatment Fatalities in Children Under 5: Findings From the National Violent Death Reporting System
Klevens & Leeb
Child Abuse and Neglect: The International Journal, 34(4), 2010
Describes the distribution of child maltreatment fatalities of children under 5 by age, sex, race/ethnicity, type of maltreatment, and relationship to alleged perpetrator.
Child Mortality Data
National Center for Child Death Review
Presents a national overview of child mortality data as well as breakdown of data from all 50 States and the District of Columbia.
Fatal Injuries Among Children by Race and Ethnicity: United States, 1999-2002
National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (2007)
Summarizes death rates from both unintentional and intentional injury during 1999-2002 for children by race/ethnicity and also compares the current racial/ethnic disparity in injury rates with previous years' rates.
Fatalities Due to Child Abuse and Neglect
American Humane Association (2004)
Offers a factsheet addressing the national scope of the problem.
Pattern of Injury in Child Fatalities Resulting From Child Abuse
Ross, Abel, & Radisch
Forensic Science International, 188(1), 2009
Uses a scientific, physiological framework to examine the prevalence of fractures before and after death in cases from the Carolinas. Results showed that most deaths resulted from face and skull fractures, and that infants 9 months old and younger accounted for 50 percent of deaths.
Public Health Surveillance of Fatal Child Maltreatment: Analysis of Three State Programs
Schnitzer, Covington, Wirtz, Verhoek-Oftedahl, & Palusci
American Journal of Public Health, 98(2), 2008
Describes approaches to surveillance of fatal child maltreatment in California, Michigan, and Rhode Island, and identifies options for improving case ascertainment.
We Can Do Better: Child Abuse and Neglect Deaths in America (PDF - 1,137 KB)
Every Child Matters Education Fund (3rd ed.) (2012)
Provides statistics by State on the number of deaths caused by abuse and neglect. The report also discusses the problem of underreporting and the higher rates of fatalities in the United States versus other developed countries.
Analysing Child Deaths and Serious Injury Through Abuse and Neglect: What Can We Learn?: A Biennial Analysis of Serious Case Reviews 2003-2005 (PDF - 863 KB)
Brandon, Belderson, Warren, Howe, Gardner, & Dodsworth et al. (2008)
Analyzes serious cases over the past 2 years in Great Britain to determine trends and themes. The study includes information about methodology, demographics, and findings. Findings include information about impact of abuse of the child's health, child age, and parental characteristics.
Fatal Child Abuse
Irenyi & Horsfall (2008)
Provides statistics on child fatalities due to child abuse and neglect in the United States and Australia. The report also addresses child death review systems.
Injuries and Death of Children at the Hands of Their Parents (PDF - 124 KB)
Trocm©, Lajoie, Fallon, & Felstiner (2007)
Describes rates and national estimates of physical harm in Canada.
The Relation Between Child Death and Child Maltreatment
Jenny & Isaac
Archives of Disease in Childhood, 91(3), 2006
Summarizes the prevalence of child fatalities on both the national and international level. The article addresses neonaticide, infanticide, sudden unexpected deaths in infancy, accidental infant suffocation and asphyxia, investigation protocols, and child death review programs.
2008/2009 Office of Children and Family Services Report on Child Fatalities (PDF - 2,202 KB)
New York State Office of Children and Family Services (2012)
Presents data on child fatalities in New York State, particularly the deaths deemed to have occurred within the context of child welfare services. Appendices include the National Center for Child Death Review case reporting tool, a fatality report template, a request form for safe sleep publications, and a list of additional resources and links.
Child Abuse and Neglect Annual Report of Child Fatalities 2011 (PDF - 2,990 KB)
Indiana Department of Child Services (2013)
Illustrates trends in the number of fatalities from the previous year and includes a synopsis of data for Indiana's State fiscal year, including demographic information pertaining to the victims, perpetrators, and households impacted by these fatalities. The report identifies common elements related to abuse and/or neglect fatalities, which can be used in the development of prevention, educational, and service programs for specific communities.
Child Abuse and Neglect Deaths in Florida: An Analysis of Children Who Died in 2011 and Key Prevention Recommendations (PDF - 233 KB)
Florida Child Abuse Death Review Committee (2012)
Presents statewide data for the years 2009-11 and addresses the issue of whether the deaths were preventable. Key recommendations are identified for the Governor and the Florida Legislature in an effort to prevent future child abuse and neglect-related deaths.
Child Abuse-Related Homicides in New Mexico: A 6-Year Retrospective Review (PDF - 157 KB)
Lee & Lathrop
Journal of Forensic Sciences, 55(1), 2010
Reviews child abuse-related deaths in New Mexico to examine cause of death, perpetrator characteristics, parental substance use or history of abuse, and more.
Child Fatalities 2013: Statistics, Analyses, and Recommendations (PDF - 345 KB)
D.C. Child and Family Services Agency, Quality Improvement Division (2014)
Discusses trends, findings, and recommendations on fatalities of children who had contact with the District of Columbia's Child and Family Services Agency from 2009 to 2012.
New York City Child Fatality Report: 2010 - 2014 (PDF - 4209 KB)
New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (2014)
Reviews data from 2010 - 2014 to examine disparities in injury-related deaths of children ages 1-12, among social and economic groups. The article also provides recommendations for preventing child deaths.
Oklahoma Special Review Committee Report: OKDHS Role in Child Abuse and Neglect Deaths: Review of Child Deaths November 2010-May 2012 (PDF - 1,126 KB)
Oklahoma Special Review Committee (2013)
Presents the findings and recommendations resulting from a special committee review of child deaths prompted by months of speculation and newspaper headlines regarding how and why these deaths occurred. All types of causes of death were reviewed, especially those resulting from child abuse and neglect.
Pennsylvania 2010 Child Death Review Annual Report: Deaths Reviewed in 2009 (PDF - 7440 KB)
Pennsylvania Department of Health & Pennsylvania Child Death Review Team (2010)
Reviews child deaths from birth through age 21 during 2006 to 2009.
Review of Minnesota Child Deaths and Near Fatalities Related to Child Maltreatment 2005-2009 (PDF - 181 KB)
Minnesota Department of Human Services, Child Safety and Permanency Division (2011)
Presents findings of a child mortality review in Minnesota based on data obtained from the Minnesota Department of Health death certificate data and from cases reviewed by Minnesota's Child Mortality Review Panel. Strategies implemented by Minnesota to address each category of child mortality are discussed.