Child Fatalities

Child Fatalities

The untimely death of a child is a tragedy for families and communities. Even more unsettling is when that death could have been prevented. Each year, an average of 450 Utah children die in Utah. Approximately one-third of these deaths are due to injury (1). Injuries are mostly preventable, yet they continue to be the leading cause of death for children aged 1 to 18 in Utah.


Utah Child Abuse/Neglect Hotline

  • More than half of the child homicides resulted from injuries due to abuse.
  • Abusive head trauma was the most common injury seen in deaths due to abuse.
  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for Utah youth (ages 10-17).
  • Toddlers and teenage males are the children most at risk of drowning.
  • Children and teens from rural or frontier communities in Utah had higher rates of motor vehicle deaths than children and teens from urban communities.
  • Most motor vehicle pedestrian deaths among younger children (ages 0-4) occurred in residential driveways, while the majority of older children (ages 5-18) were hit while crossing a street.
  • Unintentional suffocation while in a sleep environment was a leading cause of injury death for infants in Utah.

In response to these deaths, an multi-disciplinary Child Fatality Review Committee (CFRC) was established by the Utah Department of Health in 1992. The CFRC was charged with the review of the circumstances and cause of all childhood deaths in the state. The purpose of the CRFC is to develop a better understanding of child deaths in order to reduce the number of these tragedies.


  1. Injury-related deaths include the following: homicide, suicide, drowning, other unintentional injuries, OHV/ATV, motor vehicle (driver, passenger, and pedestrian), SIDS, SIDS vs. Asphyxia, unintentional injuries during sleep, infant sleep deaths of undetermined manner, poisonings of undetermined manner, and other deaths of undetermined manner.