Qld government agency hopes refreshed database will help prevent child deaths

By Shannon Jenkins

April 27, 2021

child death prevention data base
Detailed child death data can be made available for those undertaking prevention research or community education. (Image: Adobe/ escapejaja)

Queensland’s most comprehensive Child Death Register has officially gone live, supporting government agencies and other organisations to reduce the number of preventable child deaths through campaigns, policies and programs.

Launched by the Queensland Family and Child Commission (QFCC) last week, the new database system records all deaths of young people under the age of 18 in the state, and contains information from across 17 years of recorded data.

Aside from maintaining the register, the QFCC is required to analyse and report on trends and patterns in child mortality over time. The commission also works with researchers and other agencies to raise community awareness and develop prevention programs and policies, an agency spokesperson told The Mandarin.

“Detailed child death data can be made available for those undertaking prevention research or community education. QFCC does this to make sure that, as a community, we learn valuable lessons in how best to reduce and prevent future child deaths,” they said.

For example, data on youth suicide is provided to the Fraser Coast Regional Council to help them develop policies and programs, the spokesperson said. Meanwhile, accidental death data helps the Office of Fair Trading investigate specific products, and data on child drownings supports the research of the Royal Life Saving Society Australia.

The new and improved Child Death Register system will enhance how sensitive information is captured, according to QFCC principal commissioner Cheryl Vardon.

“The death of any young Queenslander is heartbreaking for friends, family and communities. We must learn valuable lessons from these children’s stories on how to reduce and prevent future child deaths,” she said in a statement.

“The replacement database has enhanced functionality and captures quality information in a more structured way. It enables the delivery of public education campaigns, government policy and design programs to help reduce preventable child deaths.”

The register was first established in 2004, and contains more than 7,500 records that have been classified by the cause of death, demographic, and incident characteristics.

Government agencies, state and national advisory groups, non-government agencies and researchers can access the data to support prevention initiatives.

Vardon said the new system has been the result of hard work and dedication from the QFCC Child Death Prevention Team.

“Through collecting and sharing information on child deaths we aim to raise awareness of possible risks and better inform prevention activities,” she said.


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