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Infant/Child Fatality Review

Each year, approximately 1600 children die in Ohio. About one-fifth of these deaths are probably preventable. Child Fatality Review is the process of reviewing all infant and child deaths to better understand how and why children die and how we can prevent child deaths. Each year, the Scioto County Health Department conducts a confidential review of all deaths of infants and children (under age 18) in Scioto County. This review is required by Ohio law.

Infant and child deaths are regarded as an important indicator of the health of a community. While mortality statistics provide us with an overall picture of child deaths (by number and cause), it is from a careful study of each and every child’s death that we can learn how best to prevent more deaths.

The purpose of the local review boards, as described in the law, is to reduce the incidence of preventable child deaths. To this end, the local review board:

  1. Promotes cooperation, collaboration and communication between all groups that serve families and children;
  2. Submits data to a national database of all child deaths to develop an understanding of the causes and incidence of those deaths;
  3. Advises the state department of health on trends and patterns found in local child deaths, and makes recommendations on policies and programs to help prevent future child deaths. The Scioto County Health Commissioner leads the annual Scioto County Child Fatality Review. Other review board members include a local pediatrician and representatives from the Portsmouth City Health Department, SOMC Maternity, Scioto County Children’s Services, ADAMHS Board, law enforcement, Scioto County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Scioto County Coroner.
Each year, the Ohio Department of Health collects the data from each county review board, analyzes it, and publishes an annual Ohio CFR Report. These reports are available online and can be found at the following link:

For more information about Ohio's Child Fatality Review, please visit the following link: