Alabama's preventable child deaths declining

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama health officials say preventable child deaths are declining.

State Health Officer Don Williamson says about one-third of all deaths involving Alabama children under 18 are considered preventable. Figures from the state health department show the number of preventable child deaths declined from 387 in 2000 to 278 in 2012.

Williamson says a 1997 state law created a child death review system to look at all unexplained or unexpected child deaths and develop prevention strategies and recommendations.

Williamson and Melanie Bridgeforth of Voices for Alabama's Children say Alabama's declining rate is due, in part, to a graduated driver's license for teens, a ban on texting while driving, better education about child car seats, better education about safe sleeping positions for babies, and the distribution of cribs to low-income families.

©2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.