Infant mortality remains a problem in Palm Beach County and in many other parts of our nation.

While Palm Beach County has made significant strides, infant mortality remains a social crisis and health concern that requires awareness to address the root causes.

In the U.S. for every 1,000 babies born, six die during their first year, data shows. Significant disparities persist in the death rate of infants by race and ethnicity. The infant mortality rate among African American infants is more than twice that of non-Hispanic whites and the rate is 60% higher among American Indian/Alaska Native infants compared to non-Hispanic whites.

With September being Infant Mortality Awareness Month, BRIDGES is educating our community on the issue.

Research shows that infant mortality is associated with many factors before, during and after birth including maternal health, prenatal and postnatal care, and access to quality health care.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the leading causes of infant mortality are:

  • Birth defects
  • Preterm birth and low birth weight
  • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • Maternal pregnancy complications
  • Injuries such as suffocation

Improving a mother’s health before and during pregnancy, ensuring babies have safe sleep environments and addressing the social determinants of health, like poverty, crime, housing, etc., can help improve birth outcomes in our region.

The death of a baby is a devastating reality for many families.

We encourage everyone to get educated and involved in helping reduce the number of infants that die each year.

Photo credit: NBC News