Thursday, November 17, 2016 is World Prematurity Awareness Day, a recognition day promoted by several organizations in the World Prematurity Awareness Network to raise awareness that premature birth is the leading cause of death in children under the age of five. It is a global health crisis. You may be surprised to learn the following prematurity statistics:
- Every year in the United States, 1 in 10 babies is born prematurely
- The yearly cost associated with prematurity is more than $26 billion
- 1 in 3 children born prematurely will need special school services due to learning and developmental delays
- Premature birth can happen to anyone; sometimes it can be prevented and sometimes it cannot
You can actively support the day and global efforts toward prevention, education, and research! Below are the top five most effective ways to support World Prematurity Awareness Day.
Donate! Give to March of Dimes to support programs, education, research, and comfort to families in need. No gift is too small!
Volunteer your time. Become a volunteer leader, team youth leader, or service partner -- there are many ways to get involved and get others in your community involved!
Join an Action Campaign. Visit the March of Dimes Foundation Advocacy Action Center and make a difference by joining their advocacy network, taking action on one (or all!) of the listed engagements. They need thousands of voices to persuade policymakers to pass laws and regulations that promote the health of women, children and families.
Participate in an event in your area. Your nearest city likely has an event planned to support prematurity awareness -- search it up, check it out, and plan to attend!
Share your story. If you have a personal story of premature birth, life with a preemie, or infant loss, consider joining the March of Dimes "Share Your Story" online community and share your story with other parents in need of support.