Since 2010, more than 8,200 Ohio babies died before their first birthdays — born too early and too small, dying in their sleep or burdened by serious birth defects. (Photo by Michelle Gibson/Getty Images)

Butler County seeks grant to address concerning infant mortality rate

The grant will help pay for education programs to raise awareness of infant mortality. Butler County’s three health commissioners, and the Butler County Education Services Center, are seeking up to $1.49 million from the state Medicaid department.


Infant mortality is defined nationwide as the death of a live-born baby before his or her 1st birthday. More than 22,000 infants died in the United States in 2017, and 982 died that year in Ohio.

Infant mortality in Butler County has declined in the past few years, but the rate of deaths among African-American babies is three times the rate as white babies, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the five leading causes of infant death nationwide in 2017 were:

• birth defects

• pre-term birth and low birth weight;

• maternal pregnancy complications;

• Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS); and

• injuries, such as suffocation.

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