Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

INFANT MORTALITY; Saving Infants

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

INFANT MORTALITY; Saving Infants

Article excerpt

The significant drop in Duval County's infant mortality rate may just be a one-year blip.

A major decline in sleeping related deaths in 2006 played a large part in decline of the overall infant mortality rate that year.

The decline has not continued in the first six months of 2007, reported Laurie Lee, coordinator of the Northeast Florida Fetal Infant Mortality Review. Unfortunately, the rate of sleep-related deaths has bumped up to previous levels in the first six months of this year.

She was speaking at last week's meeting of the major study on infant mortality being conducted by the Jacksonville Community Council Inc.

Sleep-related deaths represent one of the most preventable causes of infant mortality.

It involves getting out the news to mothers, grandparents and caregivers regarding ways of avoiding crib deaths. Among the tips:

- Infants should not be sleeping with adults. There even has been one death involving twins in which one baby rolled over another. Social service agencies are helping to provide infant beds for new mothers. And they have directions for turning a drawer into a safe sleeping area.

- Infants should not be placed on their stomachs. This has been connected to crib deaths, but was a custom years ago.

- Cribs should not include soft items that could lead to suffocation, such as stuffed animals or adult comforters.

The Safe Sleep Partnership seeks to reduce infant deaths. It is a committee made up of representatives from public health, child care and other community groups. …

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