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Preterm births increase from 2016-’17 :

November 30, 2018

Black women in the United States are up to 50% more likely to have a preterm birth and their children have as much as a 130% higher death rate than white children, according to the latest report card on prematurity rates issued by the March of Dimes.

The annual report card assesses the United States’ and territories’ efforts to combat preterm births. The latest overall grade is a “C” for 2017. The grade reflects the rise in preterm births from 9.85% in 2016 to 9.93% in 2017.

Globally, preterm births have reached 15 million per year. When born too soon in low-resource countries, babies are at risk of dying from a lack of interventions such as warming and skin-to-skin care.

The AAP is helping to spread the message about infant warming by participating in the Tiny Hats for Tiny Babies campaign. Last month, AAP Global offered AAP National Conference attendees a chance to participate by providing knitting kits so pediatricians could make hats. The hats were shipped to clinics and hospitals in low-resource areas of the world, like those in East Africa (pictured here).

Wearing properly fitting hats helps keep babies warm during skin-to-skin contact and kangaroo care in areas where incubators and warming devices are limited or unavailable.

Practices, hospitals and other groups interested in participating can email clowman@aap.org. Visit the Tiny Hats website, http://tiny.ucsf.edu/TinyHats.

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