What is an “Inspire Article”?
The Inspire category is a way to showcase progress on an issue. These articles consist of positive outcomes on the issue, and can even include case studies of progress on similar issues outside of Palm Beach County – in the hopes we can apply the knowledge, and be inspired to do more!
Good News for Palm Beach County Babies
The Children's Services Council of Palm Beach County recently announced the analysis of eight key birth indicators, and the news is good. The numbers* show a significant improvement between 2005 and 2010 in all areas studied, which included trimester of entry into prenatal care, adequacy of prenatal care, babies born at low birth weight, babies born pre-term, mothers initiating breastfeeding, teen births, repeat teen births, and infant mortality.
The eight indicators studied can influence whether a baby is born healthy, which can lead to a good health over the course of a lifetime. Beyond the obvious, healthy babies are less likely, according to the Children's Services Council, to "need costly medical care, less likely to be abused or neglected and more likely to succeed when they enter school. Results like these save us all money; they reduce health care, special education and criminal justice costs while increasing the likelihood that children will grow up to become productive, taxpaying citizens." The report also indicated that Palm Beach County was the only county among the state's seven largest to show a positive gain in every area.
Why should we care? A better question might be "How can we not care?" And while we are headed in the right direction, the numbers show that there is still much work to be done. For example, the percentage of mothers who received adequate prenatal care increased from 66.6% of all mothers in 2005 to 74.3% in 2010. This shows a significant increase, but also means that more than 25% of mothers did not receive adequate prenatal care. This should be an important issue for all of us. The Children's Services Council and its partners have targeted high risk families and have accomplished great things, but we all need to stay informed and be advocates for this issue.
*2010 numbers are preliminary and may be subject to change.