Missouri’s Bootheel has highest infant mortality rate in state

Updated: Sep. 12, 2017 at 4:31 PM CDT
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SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) - According to “Bootheel Babies and Families,” babies born in under developed countries have a better chance of surviving their first year than babies born in Missouri’s bootheel.

"The national average for infant mortality is sitting at 5.8, if you look at Missouri we are sitting at and infant mortality rate of 6.4 and Pemiscott county for example is sitting at a infant mortality rate of 13.6," said project manager Rob Turner.

Bootheel Babies and Families focuses on education Dunklin, Mississippi, New Madrid county, Pemiscot, Scott and Stoddard counties.

In 2016, 135 babies died in those counties and 56 percent of them were related to unsafe sleep habits.

That's why they launched their campaign, The ABC's of Safe Sleep.

The campaign emphasizes that babies sleep best, alone, on their backs, in a crib or other safe sleep surface.

"We also focus in on substance misuse and abuse in the home as it relates to infant mortality. And then we also focus in on pre and post natal care, because as you know in the Bootheel access to care is a large issue," said Turner.

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