Child Health

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The problem we face

Davidson County ranks 91st out of 95 Tennessee counties for child wellbeing according to the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth. A child’s health plays a vital role in their academic achievement and future wellbeing, and NashvilleHealth is working to improve the lives of children in our community.

Davidson County ranks 91 out of 95 Tennessee counties for child wellbeing.

Davidson County ranks 91 out of 95 Tennessee counties for child wellbeing.

Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth, 2017

Davidson County’s infant mortality rate is 7 infant deaths per 1,000 live births.

Davidson County’s infant mortality rate is 7 infant deaths per 1,000 live births.

RWJF County Health Rankings, 2019

23% of Nashville’s children live in poverty.

23% of Nashville’s children live in poverty.

RWJF County Health Rankings, 2019

37% of school children in Davidson County are overweight or obese.

37% of school children in Davidson County are overweight or obese.

Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth, 2016

Ongoing Initiatives

Nashville Infant Vitality Collaborative (NIVC): The Nashville Infant Vitality Collaborative, led by the Metro Public Health Department in partnership with Meharry Medical College and NashvilleHealth, launched in January 2016 as a collective impact effort to make Nashville the healthiest city for babies to be born and children to thrive.

The collaborative is made up of more than 70 members who are working to identify ways to:

  • Help women be healthy before, during and after pregnancy,
  • Create conditions that end racial inequities for babies and their families, and
  • Address housing needs for pregnant women and families with infants.

NashvilleHealth leads the Housing Committee to determine how housing impacts the health of infants.

Infant Safe Sleep Awareness: Sleep-related deaths represent approximately 25 percent of all infant deaths in Tennessee and one-third of all infant deaths in Metropolitan Nashville/Davidson County. In 2018, NashvilleHealth led efforts to research effective messaging around safe sleep and launched a safe sleep awareness campaign in partnership with Mt. Zion Baptist Church.

Health and Schools: Building on learnings from the Better Health, Better Learning Summit that NashvilleHealth co-hosted with the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE), we are participating in Alignment Nashville, MPH and MNPS’ school health strategic planning process. NashvilleHealth also supported the expansion of the school nurse program within Metro Nashville Public Schools. The expansion effort successfully added 17 new nurses in the 2017-2018 school year. In 2018 and 2019, NashvilleHealth partnered with MNPS to present Wellness Week, which brought together almost 80 schools across the state to engage students and staff in activities on healthy eating, physical activity, and holistic well-being.

Resources

Baby and Me Tobacco Free: Women who quit smoking are less likely to have premature and low-birth weight babies. This free program has helped more than 3,500 pregnant women across the state quit using tobacco.

Cribs for Kids – Do you need a safe sleep environment for your baby? Resources are available through Cribs for Kids local partners.

kidcentraltn.com: is a one-stop shop to help Tennessee families raise healthy and happy kids. Families can read about popular parenting topics, track important child milestones, and access vital resources using the state services directory.

Tennessee Breastfeeding Hotline: If you have questions about or need help with breastfeeding your baby, the Tennessee Breastfeeding Hotline is a free resource available to you. Call 855-423-6667.

Central Referral System coordinates referrals for home visiting services for pregnant women, infants, and children up to 6 years of age. The family is linked to the most appropriate provider agency to ensure coordination and avoid duplication of services. For more information call 615-880-2187.

State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE): An independent, nonprofit, and nonpartisan advocacy and research institution, SCORE drives collaboration on policy and practice to ensure student success across Tennessee.