Infant mortality is defined as the death of a live-born baby before his or her first birthday.

Most infant deaths in Ohio occur when babies:

  • Are born too early (pre-term births before 37 weeks gestation).

  • Die due to sleep-related causes, including Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), asphyxia and undetermined causes.

  • Are born with a serious birth defect.

Some risk factors, such as smoking, may contribute to more than one of the above factors.

Helping every child get a healthy start and effectively combatting infant mortality takes strong efforts from many different corners, which is why the Governor’s Office of Health Transformation, the Ohio Departments of Health, Medicaid, Mental Health and Addiction Services, and other partners at the state and local levels have vigorously pursued a comprehensive range of initiatives to help more babies reach their first birthday. A summary of Ohio’s many initiatives to address infant mortality from 2011-2015, and highlights of new strategies to address infant mortality in 2016 - 2017 are available here.