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.
A longtime advocate for Alabama children is retiring.
The board of VOICES for Alabama's Children announced that Linda Tilly will retire as executive director at the end of the year. Tilly has been with the statewide child advocacy organization for more than 17 years.
Children in Alabama are still dealing with obstacles as they face the future, but the 2012 Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation shows Alabama children with their best ranking in overall well-being since the data book began publication in 1990.
But it also shows that Alabama still has much work to do in insuring a bright future for children. Alabama ranks 45th in the new data book.