PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The number of deaths in South Dakota attributed to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome was at its lowest level ever in 2012, but the state’s infant mortality rate still rose.
The state Health Department says there were six SIDS deaths in 2012, well below the 13-year median of 9 deaths. However, there were 104 infant deaths, up from the median of 80 deaths. During that same 13-year period the previous high was 100 infant deaths in 2008.
Health Secretary Doneen Hollingsworth says the numbers do fluctuate from year to year because of the state’s small population. But she says any increase is cause for concern.
First lady Linda Daugaard chaired the 2011 Governor’s Task Force on Infant Mortality. She says the group’s recommendations were just beginning to be implemented in 2012.