Indiana has ranked in the bottom tier of states in incidents of infant mortality for nearly two decades (41st nationally). The following statistics illustrate the need for rapid development of new and innovative programs to reverse this heartbreaking trend.
Almost 125 basketball teams will not compete this year. Almost 9 school buses of kids will not be going to first grade. Why? Each year, more than 600 babies in Indiana die before their first birthday because of Indiana’s devastating infant mortality rate.
In order to change the pattern of infant mortality in Indiana, we must acknowledge and understand these terrible truths.
Indiana’s infant mortality rate per 1,000 births is 7.0. Marion County’s infant mortality rate is 9.0. Meanwhile, in zip code 46201 on the near east side of Indianapolis (and within 13 other zip codes within the state of Indiana) the infant mortality rate soars as high as 26—similar to the rate in Guatemala. Safe sleep is the most preventable cause of infant mortality and is related to one out of every 8 deaths (Source: ISDH 2016).
A major need identified is safe infant care and an avenue for economic development within these neighborhoods. Major gaps exist that can be filled through Kohl’s Caring For Our Kids.
KOHL’S CARING FOR OUR KIDS OBJECTIVE: Improve progress of child care centers toward national quality accreditation, and increase the number of parents reporting safe sleep practices by 30% over 2 years.
- Strategy #1: Partner with community and governmental organizations to pilot a program that bridges gaps preventing safe and quality infant child care in high risk zip codes.
- Strategy #2: Child care centers as resources for safety and safe sleep education.