Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

August 16, 2013

Editorial - Aug. 15, 2013: End the ‘horrible’ death rate

The issue: Indiana’s poor infant mortality rate.

Their view: While education and support are key, only proper health care and education will end this cycle.

When it comes to health, Indiana continues to fail miserably. The state ranks 41st nationally in overall health. From an obesity epidemic to tobacco use, Hoosiers continue to push the envelope when it comes to unhealthy behavior. And the latest news, although startling, is no different.

In 2011, Indiana had the nation’s 47th-highest infant mortality rate, with 7.7 of every 1,000 children who were born alive dying before their first birthday, according to provisional data.

Now, State Health Commissioner Dr. William C. VanNess II is making attempts to combat the state’s infant mortality rate — a statistic he calls “horrible.”

VanNess says lowering the death rate among the state’s youngest residents is one of the Indiana State Department of Health’s top three initiatives, and the state “can’t keep this hidden anymore.”

“Indiana is horrible at infant mortality. Horrible. We are 47th out of 50 states,” he said.

A report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Indiana ranked sixth nationally in 2010 for infant mortality.

The reason for the high death rate is difficult to pinpoint, but VanNess says Indiana has high rates of obesity and smoking, both of which tie into infant mortality. Data from 2010 showed that 17.1 percent of pregnant Indiana women smoked during pregnancy, compared with 9.2 percent nationally.

Indiana cannot accept these statistics, and we’re glad to see the State Department of Health focusing its efforts on reducing those numbers. Education and support will be the key to reducing mortality rates.

But ultimately the decision will be left to mothers, who must take notice of the risks. Smoking during pregnancy is dangerous to the baby and delivers poison into the child’s bloodstream. Parenting is a selfless act, and the first step in being a self-sacrificing mother is to toss out cigarettes for 40 weeks.

Only proper health care and education will end this horrible cycle.

— (Bedford) Times-Mail

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • CHEERS & JEERS: Livestock donations appreciated; what's a GMO? Thanks to folks at Kokomo BeachCarrie Giannakos, professional relations coordinator at Jarrell Orthodontics, sends this Cheer on behalf of the dental practice:“Dr. Kevin Jarrell and the team at Jarrell Orthodontics want to send a Cheer to the staff a

    July 26, 2014

  • RAY DAY: Some laws will do us in In my opinion, we have made laws that are contrary to what they were intended. And this writer is going to let you in on his thoughts about them. One of the things that has been processed incorrectly is the child abuse law. When you tell the parent h

    July 26, 2014

  • A great way to offer help The United Way of Howard County does so much for this community that it would be difficult, in this space, to describe even a fraction of the things United Way donations accomplish.Think what Kokomo and Howard County would lose if there were no Court

    July 25, 2014

  • MARK HEINIG JR.: Will Pence, Ritz and their playmates ever grow up? Many Hoosier Republicans are curious about Gov. Mike Pence’s future. He probably is, too. Assuming he doesn’t wish to return to Congress or retire from politics, he must decide whether to seek another term as governor of Indiana or run for president

    July 25, 2014

  • LETTERS: Mast homestead celebrates 150 years Mast homestead celebrates 150 yearsThe two-story frame, Pennsylvania-Dutch style house on the Larry and Barbara Hensler farm 2 miles west of Plevna is 150 years old this year. In fact it may even be a little older than that. Lloyd Hensler used to say

    July 25, 2014

  • LEE HAMILTON: Why congressional incumbents keep getting re-elected It’s no news that Congress is unpopular. In fact, at times it seems like the only real novelty on Capitol Hill would be a jump in its approval rating. In June, a Gallup poll found members’ standing with the American people at a historic low for a mid

    July 25, 2014

  • Road must be made safer Eight months ago, the Indiana Department of Transportation opened the new U.S. 31 bypass east of Kokomo. Joining Mayor Greg Goodnight was Gov. Mike Pence. Even the Kokomo High School marching band performed at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. It was the

    July 24, 2014

  • SEN. JIM BUCK: New laws offer help for kids Families with children who have special needs often face difficulties finding the best care or treatment for their specific circumstance. During the 2014 legislative session, the Indiana General Assembly passed several initiatives to assist these fam

    July 24, 2014

  • LETTERS: Christians must stand with Israel 'As Christians we must stand with life' The present conflict in Israel is with Hamas, recognized even in Egypt as a terrorist organization. Recently Hamas formed a unity government with the Palestinian Authority in Gaza. They're now the government in

    July 24, 2014

  • BILL STANCZYKIEWICZ: Youth sports leagues are on troubling decline An important youth development activity is looking to end a recent losing streak. Participation in organized youth sports leagues for baseball, football, basketball and soccer declined by 4 percent between 2008-2012, according to a report in the Wall

    July 24, 2014

Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll