Explore BrainMass

Infant mortality rates discussed

Identify and discuss the major factors in infant mortality.

Solution Preview

Some of the most common causes of infant death include congenetial problems, infectious diseases and injuries. In the United States about 2500 infant deaths per year are due to SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome): This occurs when a healthy infant dies suddenly while sleeping. The number of SIDS deaths has decreased since 1992, when the "Back to Sleep" campaign was instituted to make people aware that putting babies to bed on their backs rather than on their stomachs greatly reduces the risk of SIDS. Research suggests that abnormalities in the brainstem, the part of the brain that regulates breathing, heart rate and other basic functions, underlie the risk for SIDS. Risk is greatly increased for infants with these innate differences if they are exposed to environmental risks, such as tobacco smoke, alcohol or other drugs; or sleeping on a soft mattress; fluffy pillows or stuffed toys. Overbundling a baby or keeping a baby's room too warm also can increase the risk of SIDS. (Insel and Roth 2008)

Low birth weight is a primary risk factor for infant mortality and most of the decline in neonatal mortality. In the United ...

Solution Summary

Factors in infant mortality are identified and discussed.