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Dying Too Young: What agencies do to fight child deaths

Oklahoman Modified: March 28, 2009 at 2:01 pm •  Published: March 27, 2009
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/> It also recommends policy and procedural changes to other agencies to help eliminate breakdowns in the system.

It visits all of the state's children's residential facilities, including shelters and youth detention centers, to check on safety and quality-of-life issues.

Child Death Review Board

This group of state officials reviews the circumstances behind child deaths and near deaths in Oklahoma. It makes recommendations for changes to prevent deaths. In its last annual report, its recommendations included a new law barring anyone age 12 and younger from driving an All-Terrain Vehicle.

Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

The agency has a wide variety of youth-directed prevention efforts dealing with suicide, substance abuse and mental health issues. Its Systems of Care program is a national leader in providing comprehensive, coordinated care to families. It operates the Children's Recovery Center in Norman where children at greatest risk can receive intensive treatment. It has crisis centers for children in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Its efforts to prevent suicide include training for physicians, schools, churches, cities, law enforcement and youth-serving agencies.

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Phone numbers and Web sites :

- Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline — (800) 522-3511

- Heartline Crisis Helpline — (800) SUICIDE

- SAFELINE — (800) 522-SAFE

- TEENLINE — (800) 522-TEEN

- Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs — (405) 530-2800

- Oklahoma SAFE KIDS Coalition — (405) 271-5695

- Oklahoma Health Department — (405) 271-5600

- Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault — (405) 524-0700

- Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth — (405) 606-4900 or

- Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services — (405) 522-3908

- Oklahoma Department of Human Services — (405) 521-3646




Child deaths: 2006-07 :

Child deaths in 2006 and 2007 investigated by Oklahoma's chief medical examiner's office. The medical examiner's office does not review every child's death.

Total 2006 child deaths investigated: 578

Natural causes: 297

Accidents: 155

Unknown: 79

Homicides: 31

Suicides: 16


Total 2007 child deaths investigated: 594

Natural causes: 317

Accidents: 149

Unknown: 83

Homicides: 31

Suicides: 14

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