Child Fatalities Decrease 10 Percent from Previous Year, Down 43 Percent Since 2007

Baltimore, MD (December 12, 2014) –The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) today released a report showing that unexpected deaths of children in Maryland decreased from 302 in 2007 to 171 in 2013, a decline of 43%.  Had the numbers of unexpected deaths remained at the 2007 level, more than 600 additional children would have died during this period.


“We've worked aggressively to save the lives of our youngest and most vulnerable,” said Governor O’Malley. "Through the work of our many partners to reduce infant mortality and reduce youth violence, we have provided a future to more than 600 children who otherwise may not have been here with us today.  But we can not rest; there is still more work to be done. Only by making better choices can we achieve better results and save lives.”
 
Unexpected resident child deaths are determined each month by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME).  The manner of these deaths is determined to be natural, homicide, suicide, accidental (including motor vehicle accidents), or undetermined. These cases are reviewed by multidisciplinary local teams overseen by a multi-agency state team to make recommendations that may prevent future deaths. Consistent with the trend in unexpected deaths, data from Vital Statistics also show an overall reduction in deaths among children in Maryland from 988 in 2007 to 696 in 2013, a decline of 29.5%.
 
“Fewer child deaths means fewer grieving parents, fewer families torn apart, and greater hope for the future,” said Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and a pediatrician.  “Many people, inside and outside the healthcare system, played an important role in achieving these results.”
 
 

Administration efforts that have driven the decline:


● Child Safety Seat Laws: Revised in 2008 and again in 2012, efforts are made  to continually improve the safety of children riding in cars.
 
● Hospital Breastfeeding Policy Recommendations: Introduced  in 2012, the administration continues to work with 32 birthing hospitals across the state to ensure education and support for women who choose to breastfeed.  These effort continue to drive up the rates of breastfeeding in Maryland.
 
● Safe Sleep Initiative: Outreach with Baltimore City and other local jurisdictions have increased awareness of the ABCs of safe sleep: Babies sleep best Alone, on their Back and in a Crib.
 
● The Violence Prevention Initiative (VPI):  The program was launched in 2007 to identify and track the state's most violent offenders in order to prevent repeat offenses including homicides.  A Juvenile VPI was launched in 2008 that identifies and supervises youth that are considered at high risk of perpetrating a violent crime,
 

Recent efforts that are expected to contribute to further reductions in unexpected child deaths:


● Cell phone use, as primary offense, was signed into law in 2013.
 
● Jake's Law, in effect this year, increases penalties for people who cause an accident or injury while using a handheld mobile device.
 
● A crib bumper ban in 2013 makes it illegal to sell these in the state.
 
● The launch of the Pregnancy And Tobacco Cessation Help campaign (PATCH) in 2013 addresses and is expected to reduce smoking rates among pregnant women, women of childbearing age, and members of their households.
 
●The State Police Impaired Driving Effort (SPIDRE) was launched in mid 2013.  The four year program is aimed at reducing the number of impaired driving crashes in Maryland.

The report can be found here

 
 

Substance Abuse Help

 

Zika Information

 

Rabies Information


     

WCHD News

As part of Pocomoke City’s 4th Friday on Sept. 27, the Worcester County Health Department will lead a free 1-mile fun walk through the historic downtown district. Registration begins at 5 pm and the walk starts at 5:30 pm.

Click the image below to register for the walk. 

Read more ...

The Out of the Darkness Suicide Awareness Walk. Movement of a quarter of a million people joined by local participants in Ocean City, MD.

Ocean City, MD − Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, yet suicide can be prevented. Volunteers from Worcester County are joining the quarter of a million people who are walking in towns across the United States to draw attention to the fight for suicide prevention. The 8th annual Out of the Darkness Walk, hosted by the Worcester County Health Department (WCHD) will be held on Saturday, September 21, 2019. As in years past, walkers will gather at Caroline Street and the Boardwalk, with registration beginning at 9am. After opening remarks, the procession will walk to the Inlet, turn and walk to 5th Street, then back to Caroline Street.

Read more ...

Worcester Health partners with Ocean City Fire Department on “Safe Station” project
Station offers 24/7 access to recovery services

Ocean City, MD- Where would you go if you needed help with addiction right now? The Worcester County Health Department, in partnership with the Town of Ocean City Fire Department, has launched a “Safe Station” in Ocean City at the 15th Street Fire Station for those seeking immediate help getting into recovery. The station is open 24-hours a day, 7 days a week for any individuals seeking treatment services.

Read more ...

In the event of a storm or power outage, it is important to know safety information about food storage and operating generators. Follow the links below for tips about food and generator safety.

Read more ...

(July 31, 2019 Snow Hill, MD) – The Worcester County Health Department received notification from the State of Maryland that a mosquito pool in the Whaleyville area of Worcester County recently tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). This is the first positive test for EEE in Worcester in 2019.

Arboviruses, such as the EEE virus, are most common during the summer and fall months. The viruses are transmitted by infected mosquitoes and spread to humans, birds, horses and other animals. Since mosquitoes can breed in as little as a quarter inch of water, eliminating standing water is critical for the control of mosquito populations. Many factors impact when and where outbreaks occur, such as weather, numbers of mosquitoes that spread the virus, and human behavior.

The Worcester and Wicomico County Health Department provides the following tips to help prevent contact with mosquitoes and reduce risk of infection with EEE or other mosquito borne illnesses:

Read more ...
 Lower Shore Health Insurance Assistance Program