2013 infant mortality numbers down but still too high
Infant mortality rates for Hamilton County and Cincinnati decreased in 2013 but still remain higher than the national average.
Cradle Cincinnati released last year's numbers following a community summit Tuesday morning.
Hamilton County saw 95 babies die before their first birthday, for a rate of 8.9 deaths per 1,000 live births. Of those deaths, 53 were City of Cincinnati residents, giving the City a rate of 9.9 deaths per 1,000 live births.
To put that into perspective, Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune says, "It's four classrooms full of students who will never be able to go to school. It's 95 families in our community who have suffered an incomprehensible loss."
While the number remains high, Cradle Cincinnati says it's the county's lowest infant mortality rate since the statistic started being tracked in about 2000.
Cradle Cincinnati aims to work with community partners, health agencies, hospitals and other medical groups to reduce the number to zero. The group's focus is on educating people on safe sleep habits, pregnancy spacing and helping women to stop smoking during pregnancy.
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Is Hamilton County's infant mortality rate dropping? The agency formed a year ago to reduce the number of babies who die before their first birthdays will answer that question during a news conference Tuesday.
Cradle Cincinnati Executive Director Ryan Adcock says he wants the community to get involved in the conversation today too.
Says Adcock, "We are inviting the entire community to come and give us their ideas and let us know what they think can help moms in our communities get through pregnancy successful and get through their babys' first year of life successful."
The meeting is 10 a.m. - noon Tuesday at the Community Action Agency.
Adcock says Cradle Cincinnati is focusing on understanding the problems behind the region's higher than average infant mortality rate.
For now the agency is targeting education on "the three S's:" spacing, smoking and sleep. Spacing at least 18 months between babies, not smoking during pregnancy, and safe sleep practices for infants.