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National Child Health Day, originally proclaimed by President Calvin Coolidge in 1928, provides an opportunity to focus the nation's attention on the importance of the children's health and well-being.

The theme of this year's Child Health Day which takes place on October 7, is reducing infant mortality (IM). Although the United States boasts one of the world's lowest IM rates for preterm infants born between 24 and 36 week's gestation, the number of deaths among near- and full-term infants (>36 weeks) remains higher in the United States than in most of the industrialized world.  Internationally, the United States now ranks 34th in IM—behind Japan, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Israel, and most European nations.  In 2010 (the most recent year for which final statistics are available) , more than 24,000 infants in this country died before their first birthday.

Contents

Baby in Crib

See also HRSA's MCHB's official Child Health Day page

General Resources

Five Areas of Targeted Improvement

Resources, developed with support from a variety of federal sources, can be categorized according to the five areas of targeted improvement for IM reduction:

1.  Reduce elective deliveries before 39 weeks

Perinatal morbidity is higher in infants delivered before 39 weeks' gestation.

2.  Increase safe sleep practices

3.  Expand perinatal regionalization

Regionalized perinatal systems ensure that high-risk deliveries occur in the hospitals best equipped to optimize outcomes.

4.  Increase smoking cessation among pregnant women

5.  Expand access to interconception care

 


Archive of Child Health Day Materials

The MCH Library provides access to historical publications from the U.S. Children's Bureau, including the following full-text documents:

Child Health Day 2012

Child Health Day 2011

Child Health Day 2010

Child Health Day 2009

Child Health Day 2008

Child Health Day 2007

Additional materials ranging from 19262008 are also available.