Infant Mortality Overview

baby shoes

Infant mortality, or death of a baby before its first birthday, is complicated. It is often a good way to assess the well-being of a nation, state or community.

It is not just a health care issue. Jobs, education, access to care, housing, safety, where you live – all play a key role.

The Current Crisis

While recent data shows national infant mortality rates decreasing, Columbus and Franklin County has a rate that is twice that of New York City.

While the loss of one child is too many, nearly 3 families lose a baby every week, or about 150 infants in our community each year. Black babies dying at twice the rate of White babies.

Link to local data reports

A Priority for Public Health

Infant health has been a staple of public health programs from the beginning, such as infant health visiting programs and the development of vaccines. Today, infant mortality is a strategic priority for Columbus Public Health.  

Key Risk Factors

  • Pregnancies spaced less than 18 months apart
  • Mother's health before and during pregnancy 
  • Unplanned pregnancy
  • Late or no prenatal care 
  • Unsafe sleep for infants
  • Prematurity (born before 37 weeks) and low birth weight 

What We Are Doing

Columbus Public Health is leading or taking part in many projects aimed at these risk factors.

Greater Columbus Infant Mortality Task Force
Developing a community plan that will reduce the rate of infant mortality in Columbus/Franklin County.

Safe Sleep for Infants
Education and Awareness of infant safe sleep practices 

Tracking of Infant Mortality Data 
Includes most recent data related to infant deaths and births.

Ohio Equity Institute - Columbus
Community partners working together to reduce infant mortality in selected areas of Columbus.

South Side Network for Healthy Families & Babies
Apart of the Ohio Equity Institute. The South Side Network is working to build a community where all babies thrive.

All Babies Matter 
Training and Resources on the impact of racism on infant mortality and what we can do together.

Public Health Services and Programs
for Pregnancy and Infant Health