Pharos-Tribune

Editorials

November 5, 2013

OUR VIEW: Come together to save babies

It was with heavy hearts we reported on the state’s first-ever Infant Mortality Summit last week. On the surface, hearing about the many children who don’t make it to their first birthday is disheartening.

It leaves you asking how is it possible that Indiana has one of the worst infant mortality rates in the nation?

Indiana’s rate of 7.7 deaths out of every 1,000 babies born in 2011 (the latest numbers available) puts it above the national rate of 6.05 deaths per 1,000 births. In fact, we’re sixth highest in the nation.

That’s hard to hear.

But wait, there’s more. When you dig deeper and see that Cass County’s rate is even higher — at 9.9 infant deaths per 1,000 live births — it’s devastating. We rank fourth highest in the state.

We can’t think of a worse category to be a state leader in.

A big part of the problem, according to those gathered for the summit, is women smoking during pregnancy. In Indiana, almost 17 percent of pregnant women are smokers. That’s way up from the national rate of 9 percent.

It’s even worse in Cass County, where just over 20 percent of mothers reported having smoked during their pregnancies.

So what’s the big deal about smoking during pregnancy? Well, it has major consequences:

• Twenty percent to 30 percent of the cases of low birth weight babies can be attributed to smoking.

• Women who smoke during pregnancy have more than twice the risk of delivering a low birth weight baby.

• Babies of mothers who smoked during pregnancy have twice the risk of SIDS than infants of nonsmoking mothers.

• Women who smoke have a higher incidence of ectopic pregnancy.

• Pregnant smokers also have a 30 percent 50 percent higher risk of miscarriage than nonsmokers.

Every birth is a miracle. If you’ve ever seen a newborn baby, you know how fragile life is. These babies are our most precious resource and need every fighting chance they can get. What they certainly don’t need is a disadvantage from the start, which is what smoking during pregnancy does.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Editorials
  • THEIR VIEW: Careful look at tax structure needed Indiana legislators this year created a "blue-ribbon commission" to study the state's taxes on businesses this summer. We hope the commission will listen to Larry DeBoer, a Purdue professor who might understand Indiana's tax structure better than any

    April 20, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Littering shows disregard for surroundings Numbers tell a sad story about the disregard many Hoosiers have for their surroundings. Too many in Indiana don't care enough about the environment to prevent them from cluttering the countryside by carelessly tossing litter along the side of roadway

    April 18, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Lawmakers fail to act on the issue After several years of fretting over Indiana's ongoing methamphetamine problem, the Indiana General Assembly continues to struggle for a solution. The issue seems to come up every session, given that Indiana leader the nation in meth lab seizures. Bu

    April 17, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Constitutional convention won't work today There seems to be a growing idea that we need a Constitutional convention. That, of course, is the other way to change the Constitution. Amendments have been used 27 times to make changes, ranging from limiting the president's term of office to the d

    April 16, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Health care fraud can't go unchecked National health care spending tops $2.7 trillion annually. That leaves a lot of room, and temptation, for abuse of a bureaucracy that administers medical services. Medicare and Medicaid scams may cost taxpayers more than $98 billion each year. Health

    April 15, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Lessons from 2nd Fort Hood The shooting at Fort Hood last week has stirred up more debates about guns and mental health but adding little more than some oratorical dust. Consider these elements: • Army Spec. Ivan Lopez, who killed three and wounded 16 others before taking his

    April 10, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Fast lane for road projects Our interstate, national and state highways carry millions of people through and across Indiana each year. Those roadways form the physical connections among our communities. Not just people, but dollars. One state legislator says "half a trillion do

    April 9, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Doubts about Common Core doubts It wasn't the most solid week in the movement to swap out the school standards known as Common Core State Standards for a homegrown set of measures in Indiana. Sure, the General Assembly was able to get a bill to Gov. Mike Pence last month to scrap t

    April 8, 2014

  • OUR VIEW: Parents, let's talk about money There are many talks that parents need to have with their children. They talk about bullying at school and talk about drugs. And of course, there's the always-dreaded "birds and the bees" talk. But there's a talk that many parents gloss over. And it'

    April 6, 2014

  • OUR VIEW: Sporadic bouts of snow, rain and sun have kept most of us indoors the past few weeks. Now, weather forecasters tell us of better, warmer days, the kind where we can roll down the car windows, open the sunroof or hop on a motorcycle. But it's that tim

    April 4, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should mushroom hunters be allowed to forage off-trail in Indiana state parks?

Yes
No
Undecided
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
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.