So far this calendar year, 95 infants have died in Florida due to unsafe sleep – and those are just the ones reported to the state abuse hotline. Babies can be smothered accidentally when sleeping in the same bed with an adult. In fact, the risk of infant death is 40 times higher for babies who sleep with adults.
That's why the Department of Health and the Department of Children and Families teamed up for the Safe Sleep Campaign, which kicked off Wednesday. DCF Interim Secretary Esther Jacobo says the campaign will train first responders on how to identify unsafe sleep situations and teach families what is safe.
"What we have found is that infant deaths that are related to sleeping either with your parents or with the parents in the bed or in a crib that has things in it – which we used to think was okay – is actually contributing to infant deaths, so it's really important to get the word out to the public", explained Jacobo.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies sleep alone, on their backs and in a crib. And the cribs should be clear of blankets, pillows, stuffed animals and bumper pads.