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Berrien County Health Department hosting educational event on preventing infant mortality Thursday

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The Berrien County Health Department is hosting a free educational event Thursday focused on preventing infant mortality.

In a news release, the county health department said the event is part of Infant Mortality Awareness Month. 

Infant mortality means a baby died before their first birthday. In 2019, Berrien County had a 3-year average infant mortality rate of 7.4 deaths for every 1,000 live births, which is higher than the Michigan three-year average of 6.6 deaths for every 1,000 live births.

It will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 23 at Carronde Park in Benton Harbor, and will highlight the five leading causes of infant mortality and offer insight on solutions and preventative measures.

According to the National Healthy Start Association, there are six areas parents and guardians should focus on to decrease infant mortality:

  • Practicing safe sleep
  • Eliminating smoking
  • Learning about prenatal and postnatal health care
  • Understanding root causes of the inequalities in the social determinants of health
  • Preventing preterm and early births
  • Receiving risk-appropriate perinatal care

Contact Jakob at jlazzaro@wvpe.org or follow him on Twitter at @JakobLazzaro.

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Jakob Lazzaro comes to Indiana from Chicago, where he graduated from Northwestern University in 2020 with a degree in Journalism and a double major in History. Before joining WVPE, he wrote NPR's Source of the Week e-mail newsletter, and previously worked for CalMatters, Pittsburgh's 90.5 WESA and North by Northwestern.