Infant mortality rate hits new low for white women, remains high for black women

Infant mortality rate hits new low for white women, remains high for black women

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - If you are a new parent, you know the feeling - obsessing over the safety of your baby. Are they breathing? Is their crib safe? Then cringing anytime Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, is mentioned. There's some good news to pass along - infant mortality rates are at a new low.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, infant mortality in the U.S. dropped 15 percent between 2005 and 2014.

The largest decline occurred in SIDS, falling 29 percent. While that is good news there is still a racial gap alarming doctors. Infant mortality rates among black women are still more than double that of non-Hispanic white women.

Infant deaths in the U.S. dropped more than 70 percent since 1962 but still has one of the highest rates among developed countries.  SIDS, in general, is a complex issue, as doctors aren't entirely sure why these deaths are occurring. They say, while there aren't definitive ways to prevent a tragedy linked to SIDS, there are ways to lower your risk.

According to the website, doctors outline important steps to reducing your baby's risk of dying.

  • Always put your baby to sleep on his or her back, or side
  • Don't put blankets or toys in his or her crib
  • Don't use a pacifier at sleep time
  • Don't smoke while pregnant, and don’t allow anyone to smoke around your infant
  • Try swaddling
  • Don't share a bed with your baby
  • Make sure the crib mattress is firm and tight-fitting

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