July 29, 2013 8:20:28 AM
JACKSON -- More than one-fifth of all childhood deaths in Mississippi could have been prevented, a state panel says.
The Child Death Review Panel looked at 229 of the 610 child deaths reported statewide in 2011. It found that 134 of those deaths -- about 22 percent of the 610 -- were preventable.
Seventy-five of the deaths were the result of motor vehicle accidents.
Ninety-five of the children whose deaths were reported in 2011 were less than a year old, and the panel reports that 58 of those babies -- 61 percent -- were found in an unsafe sleep environment, The Clarion-Ledger reported.
According to the nonprofit Coalition Against Unsafe Sleep Environments, babies should sleep alone, in a crib, on their backs, without pillows, stuffed animals or lots of blankets.
"We again strongly support the implementation of a statewide, state-funded 'Cribs for Kids' program and a Safe Sleep Awareness campaign," the recently released 2012 annual report said. "These 134 preventable children's deaths serve as a reminder to us all that we can make a difference in protecting the lives of children in our state."
The report noted no significant racial or ethnic disparities: 48 percent of the children were African American, 46 percent white, 3 percent American Indian, and 3 percent other races.
■ Coalition: cribsforkids.org/