Addressing Infant Mortality on World Prematurity Day

The Daily Record

The birth of a child is a cause for celebration. For most families, a new baby brings feelings of excitement and anticipation for the future. Unfortunately, one in every nine babies born in the United States is premature. For these families, the exciting new challenges of feedings and changings may quickly be overshadowed by the emotionally taxing challenge of navigating their children’s health complications and uncertainty about the future. Nearly 70 percent of babies who die before their first birthday are preemies, and for those babies who are lucky enough to survive, premature birth often results in other lasting consequences, such as respiratory issues or intellectual disabilities. November 17 marked World Prematurity Day – a time to raise awareness about the risk factors of premature birth and highlight efforts to prevent it.
 
The leading cause of infant morbidity and mortality is premature birth. But, like many other infant deaths, sometimes the underlying cause of death is unclear. My legislation, the Sudden Unexpected Death Data Enhancement and Awareness Act, would enhance our national reporting system to better track stillbirths and sudden unexpected infant and child deaths, allowing us to better identify risk factors to prevent them in the future.

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Addressing Infant Mortality on World Prematurity Day »