PRIORITY ONE:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cannot tell Americans or decision-makers just how many parents and family members survive the death of a child. Without this critical data, policymakers, corporate leaders, philanthropists and others cannot prioritize investments; determine the most pressing research priorities; or identify which families are at greatest risk. 

Recommendation One: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should conduct an incidence and prevalence analysis to determine how many nuclear family members survive the death of a child, at any age and from any cause, in the United States each year. 

Recommendation Two: Following an analysis of prevalence and incidence, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should examine the interrelationships between child death, family income, health, causes of death, and community support systems in order to provide a clear understanding of the problem, enable the research community to monitor and track trends, and ultimately improve outcomes for bereaved families.

 

PRIORITY TWO:

National Academies of Sciences

Considered one the nation's most prestigious scientific institutions, the National Academies of Science publishes reports on a range of important issues facing the nation. To date, the National Academies has not authored a report to the nation on the implications of child death on a family, community or nation.

This report will consolidate the current state-of-affairs for bereaved families and the science, programs, and policies that support them. Additionally, it will provide a roadmap for decision-makers and prioritize our nation's most pressing needs to address child death support systems and their architecture in our public, private, and plural institutions. 

Recommendation Three: The National Academies of Science should author a report examining the burden of child loss among American parents, the unique hardships and variations among all forms of child death (at any age), the impact on the nuclear family, a community and the nation. Further, the report should examine the economic impact on employers, the nation, and consider the current clinical and policy landscape, including professional education and standards of practice. Finally, the report should examine the public's awareness, understanding and education on child death and the unique hardships facing minority communities and disparities in support.