November is International Prematurity Awareness Month.
Internationally, 1:10 infants are born prematurely. In the US, the number has dropped over the last few years, from 12% to 9.6% currently (Marchofdimes.org) Yes, you read that correctly. Until this year, the US was ABOVE the international average on premature births. This truly sobering statistic has a huge impact on anyone who works with children- as healthcare providers, teachers, and caregivers. Prematurity can cause a variety of challenges for children physically, mentally, and therefore, emotionally. As the people who care for children, we need to be aware of these challenges so that we can provide support, encouragement, and education to those around us- especially the children.
To learn more about the long term effects of premature birth, click here to visit the March of Dimes website.