What Is Infant Mortality Rate? - Definition, Causes & History

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Shaken Baby Syndrome: Symptoms & Facts

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:01 What Is the Infant…
  • 0:51 Causes
  • 2:15 History
  • 3:13 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kimberly Carpenter

Kimberly has an undergraduate degree in Lab Sciences and a Master's degree in Education.

This lesson will define infant mortality rate, describe common causes of infant mortality, and provide a short history of infant mortality in the United States from the early 1900s through present day.

What Is Infant Mortality Rate?

One of the most terrifying experiences in a new parent's life is to put your sleeping infant to bed and return a few hours later to find him not breathing. Sadly, this happens to many new parents in the United States and across the world due to a combination of circumstances. The definition of infant mortality rate is simply the number of infant deaths in a single year out of every 1,000 live births that year.

In the United States, there are approximately 25,000 infants that die every year before celebrating their first birthday. Experts use the number of infant deaths as a measure of a nation's health and as a basis to determine how effective various factors such as vitamin intake and prenatal care affect an infant for many months after he or she is born.

Causes

While most infants are progressively becoming healthier and larger every single day, there are some who will succumb to an unknown illness, and death is the result. Unfortunately, we do not know the reason for every infant death. We do know several of the main causes, and these can be addressed to ensure every possible factor has been taken into consideration if your infant suffers from one of these common causes.

If you have an infant born with a serious birth defect, there is often nothing that can be done to cure this fatal situation. Unfortunately, not every birth defect may be detected before a baby is born; however, we have come a long way as a scientific community in regards to prenatal screening. Many birth defects can now be detected before birth, and this helps physicians treat them appropriately.

Also, babies born too early are often underweight, and this leads to an infant struggling during the most critical moments of his or her life. There may also be complications during the pregnancy or delivery that causes an injury to the baby that cannot be repaired.

Last of all, infants can succumb to SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. This is a condition where the infant ceases to breathe for completely unknown reasons, and death will occur if a parent is unable to realize the problem as soon as the breathing stops.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support