There are a number of challenges with the data available for analysis that merit consideration when reading this report, including:

  • The data is primarily collected by coroners from across the province. Limits in standardization and non-confirmation of data accuracy may affect the analysis.  The OCC has been piloting a new data capture system since 2018 that is expected to significantly improve the quality and completeness of the OCC’s data with implementation anticipated in 2020-2021.
  • The lack of comparator data from other sources. Data from different sources is collected with varying sets of parameters, depending on the needs of the organization. Some of the data required for effective comparison is unavailable. Other data sets are incomplete or are measured in ways that do not align with the data that the OCC and the PDRC collect. 
  • There are varying interpretations of the Joint Directive on Child Death Reporting and Review.  We are not proceeding with clarification of the Joint Directive at this time, pending the implementation of the new Child and Youth Death Review and Analysis (CYDRA) model of child death review, to avoid potential duplication of efforts.

In August 2016 a standardized, PDF fillable Child Fatality Case Summary Report was implemented. This has significantly enhanced the consistency in the data collected from Societies.  As implementation took place part way through the year, there continues to be some variability in the data collected.

Where an analysis of the six available years of data, 2013 – 2018, was feasible, the results have been included in the report.  The data analyzed to-date suggests that there is sufficient variability within the data year-over-year to merit the ongoing examination of the data prior to drawing any conclusions.  As time passes and larger data sets are developed the ability to identify trends or draw conclusions from the data will improve.  At this time, the significance of some available data is unknown.