The Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Child Fatality Review Unit hosted an event on Thursday, Jan. 19, to announce the planned distribution of 300 demonstration dolls to law enforcement agencies throughout the state for use in the investigation of serious child injury and/or death cases. The dolls are the approximate dimensions of a 3-month old baby and are a realistic tool for investigators in reenacting and photographing incident scenes. First Lady Sandra Deal served as a guest speaker at the event. Representatives of the Child Fatality Review Panel, the Division of Family and Children Services, the Department of Public Health, the Office of the Child Advocate, and the Prosecuting Attorney’s Council were also in attendance.
Sleep-related infant deaths are one such investigation in which the dolls are utilized. Sleep-related deaths continue to be a leading cause of preventable infant fatalities in Georgia. A total of 170 infant deaths were determined to be sleep-related in 2015. Demonstration dolls will aid in identifying factors contributing to such deaths.
The mission of the Georgia Child Fatality Review Panel is to provide the highest quality child fatality data, training, technical assistance, investigative support services, and resources to any entity dedicated to the well-being and safety of children in order to prevent and reduce incidents of child abuse and fatality in the state.
Every county in Georgia has a local child fatality review committee. These committees are comprised of professionals from multiple disciplines that analyze the critical aspects of child deaths to aid in reducing preventable child deaths in Georgia. A child’s death is eligible for review when the death is sudden, unexpected, unexplained, suspicious, or attributed to unusual circumstances.