Fight Infant Mortality

ALARMING DEATH  RATES

It has been widely reported that the United States has a relatively high infant mortality rate compared with other developed countries: More than 23,000 American infants died in 2014, or about 6 for every 1,000 live births, putting us on par with countries like Serbia and Malaysia. Most other developed countries—as geographically diverse as Japan, Finland, Australia and Israel—have lower rates, closer to 2 or 3 deaths out of every 1,000. 

FIGHTING INFANT MORTALITY COULD BE AS SIMPLE  AS PUTTING BABY TO SLEEP ON ITS BACK

“It is extremely important that parents put their babies to sleep safely, on their backs in a crib with a firm mattress and no blankets, stuffed animals or pillows,” Sicilio said. “Studies have also shown an increased risk of SIDS with bed-sharing, or even allowing the infant to fall asleep on a sofa or chair with an adult. Further, allowing infants to remain asleep in car seats or strollers after arriving at their destinations is also discouraged.”

MORE HOME NURSE VISITS

Social programs in many European countries that provide free home visits from nurses for new parents might help increase protective factors and decrease risky ones. The nurses can give the baby a checkup, but perhaps more importantly, they can provide advice for preventing SIDS and can inspect the home for possible hazards. Although some of these home-visit programs exist in the United States, they are not nearly as widespread as they are in other countries