This fact sheet focuses on the incidence of infant mortality in the United States and in South Dakota and considers six strategies for lowering the rate. It begins by explaining the three major causes of infant mortality are congenital malformations, low birth weight, and sudden infant death syndrome. The higher rate of infant mortality in South Dakota is noted and the following recommendations are made to reduce the infant mortality rate: improve access to early, comprehensive prenatal care; promote awareness and implementation of safe sleep practices; develop community-based systems of support for families; conduct statewide education campaigns to reduce infant mortality; develop resources for health professionals specific to infant mortality prevention; and improve data collection and analysis. The need to improve access to early comprehensive prenatal care is emphasized. The fact sheet closes with information on infant mortality rates in different regions of South Dakota from 2000-2010.
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