Infant Mortality Overview

Infant mortality, or death of a baby before its first birthday, is complicated. It is often a good way to assess the well-being of a nation, state or community.

It is not just a health care issue. Jobs, education, access to care, housing, safety, where you live – all play a key role.

The Current Crisis

While the loss of one child is too many, 2-3 babies in Franklin County die before the age of 1 every week. The infant mortality rate for black babies is 2.5 times that of white babies in Franklin County.

Infant Mortality Reports
Summary tracks preterm births, low birth weight births and sleep related infant deaths.

Alarming Losses: Special Report Series on Infant Mortality -- Columbus Dispatch 
Franklin County’s infant-mortality rate is far above the national rate. This series explores the problem and what’s being done about it. 

A Priority for Public Health

Infant health has been a staple of public health programs from the beginning, such as infant health visiting programs and the development of vaccines. Today, infant mortality is a strategic priority for Columbus Public Health.  

Key Risk Factors

  • Pregnancies spaced less than 18 months apart
  • Mother's health before and during pregnancy 
  • Unplanned pregnancy
  • Late or no prenatal care  
  • Unsafe sleep for infants
  • Prematurity (born before 37 weeks) and low birth weight 

What We Are Doing

Columbus Public Health is leading or taking part in many projects aimed at these risk factors.


Carrying out the recommendations of the Greater Columbus Infant Mortality Task Force to reduce infant mortality in Columbus/Franklin County. 

Safe Sleep for Infants
Education and Awareness of infant safe sleep practices. 

Become a CelebrateOne Safe Sleep Ambassador
Attend a free, two-hour training at Columbus Public Health to learn more about infant mortality and infant safe sleep. Then, be an Ambassador in your community and help spread the word about the ABCs of Safe Sleep.

Tracking of Infant Mortality Data 
Includes most recent data related to infant deaths and births.

Ohio Better Birth Outcomes Collaborative 
Connecting women to reproductive and prenatal health care.

Public Health Services and Programs
Pregnancy and infant health programs.