10/03/2013 04:06 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

Canadian Pediatricians Call For National Child Death Review System


OTTAWA - The Canadian Paediatric Society is calling for a formal, standardized child death review system for every region in Canada.

The organization says only a few provinces or territories currently have such a formal system in place.

Dr. Natalie Yanchar, who heads the CPS Injury Prevention Committee, says a standardized system would provide better insight into how and why children die.

The CPS says accidents are the leading cause of death in children, followed by sudden death in infancy, congenital and medical disorders, suicide and homicide.

It says a standardized system would allow stakeholders to share information and learn from each other and ideally lead to policies that prevent deaths.

The Society is calling for a national review system that would include a regional chief medical examiner or coroner and representatives from law enforcement, child protective services and local public health plus a Crown attorney, a pediatrician, family physician or other health care provider.

"CDR (Child Death Review) is very well established in other countries, as well as some provinces in Canada, and there is now good data to show that the process actually works," said Halifax pediatrician Dr. Amy Ornstein.

"Death review has provided valuable information around public health issues including safe sleep practices, suicide prevention, ATV safety, and others."

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