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Posted September 5, 2013
Walking one step at a time to save our babies: Infant Mortality Walk

The slogan says it all: “Walking one step at a time to save our babies.” That is the message for the 4th annual Infant Mortality Walk to be held Sept. 21 in St. Petersburg, sponsored by All Children’s Hospital in recognition of Infant Mortality Month.

The Healthy Start federal program located at All Children’s works on improving the health and well-being of high-risk pregnant women, postpartum women and their children and families. In Pinellas County, African-American infants die at nearly three times the rate of white infants. All Children’s Community Services Team works to reduce the incidence of low-birth weight and premature babies by providing comprehensive, supportive services in the communities where at-risk expectant mothers and women of childbearing age reside.

The walk will begin at 8 a.m. in Dell Holmes Park, 2741 22nd St. S in St. Petersburg in Shelter 1, next to the splash park. Participants must register online by Sept. 13 to receive a T-shirt. If you have questions about the walk, you can call (727) 767-6780 or send an email to HealthyStartFederal@allkids.org.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Web site, some 25,000 infants die each year in the United States. “The death of a baby before his or her first birthday is called infant mortality,” states the CDC “ The infant mortality rate is an estimate of the number of infant deaths for every 1,000 live births. This rate is often used as an indicator to measure the health and well-being of a nation, because factors affecting the health of entire populations can also impact the mortality rate of infants. There are obvious differences in infant mortality by age, race, and ethnicity; for instance, the mortality rate for non-Hispanic black infants is more than twice that of non-Hispanic white infants.

The Journal of the American Medical Association notes that while the infant mortality rate in the U.S. has declined, it still ranks 27th among the 34 countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.