Smart Investments in Children's Health: 10 State Strategies


Baby hand photoPrematurity and other birth-related problems, such as low birth weight and birth defects, have profound and lasting effects on individuals, families and society.

One in eight babies in the United States is born too soon, resulting in long-term medical, early intervention and special education costs of more than $26 billion annually. Poor birth outcomes also add to the bottom line for Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and other public programs.

States are addressing the risk factors that contribute to poor infant and child health by developing strategies that support healthy behaviors and improve access to quality health care.

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This report provides an overview of 10 policies that:

  1. Promote early, high quality prenatal care
  2. Reduce early elective deliveries
  3. Reduce barriers to breastfeeding
  4. Promote newborn screening
  5. Promote effective early intervention and treatment for Medicaid-enrolled children
  6. Promote safe sleep
  7. Promote evidence-based home visitation
  8. Reduce preventable childhood injuries
  9. Promote oral health for pregnant women and infants
  10. Increase child immunization rates

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