To the Editor:
Every parent-to-be wants to have a healthy baby. But it doesn’t always happen that way. Nearly a half million babies each year are born too small, too soon here in the United States, and worldwide, that figure jumps to more than 15 million babies. Because these babies are premature, their lungs aren’t ready and their brains aren’t ready for them to be born.
We must do more to help babies be born stronger and healthier. This Nov. 17, the March of Dimes and organizations worldwide will observe World Prematurity Day and focus attention on the serious impact premature birth has on babies and their families.
Please join me and the March of Dimes by visiting facebook.com/WorldPrematurityDay to learn more about how we can work together for stronger healthier babies.
Prematurity is the leading cause of newborn death in the United States. Even babies born just a few weeks too soon can face serious health challenges and are at risk for lifelong disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, lung problems, vision and hearing loss, and learning disabilities.
In 2013, the March of Dimes also is celebrating its 75th anniversary and its ongoing work to give all babies a healthy start in life. More than 4 million babies were born in the United States last year, and the March of Dimes has helped each and every one through research, education, vaccines, and medical breakthroughs, including many that have benefited premature babies.
Each year, nearly 9,000 babies in South Carolina suffer the consequences of being born too soon. Awareness is the first step to solving this problem. Visit www.marchofdimes.com/southcarolina to find out how you can help us continue working for stronger, healthier babies.