Local child death report highlights importance of safe sleeping for babies

Safe Sleeping

An annual report released Thursday outlines local child death. Once again, unsafe sleeping was the number one killer of local children. 

According to the latest Child Death Review Team Report, 50 local children, under 18, died in Kern County in 2017. Nearly half of them were infants. The number one cause: Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) — a baby suffocating in its sleep. 

Our records show unsafe sleeping a factor in 114 local infant deaths in the last ten years. Experts say it’s preventable. 

Infants should sleep alone, on their back in a crib. There should be nothing in the crib, including pillows on blankets. Babies should sleep on a firm surface with a fitted sheet. always place the baby on their back to sleep. an infant should never sleep in an adult bed, couch or chair alone or with an someone else.

The Child Death Review Team recommends increasing community awareness and safe sleeping resources with the goal of every infant born in Kern County having a crib or pack and play when they are discharged from the hospital. 

Local officials are scheduled to present the report to the Kern County Board of Supervisors Tuesday. Suicide, drowning and abuse are also causes of death highlighted in the recommendations. 

View the entire 2017 Child Death Review Team report here

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