DECATUR, Ga. – Too many Georgia babies are dying because of unsafe sleeping conditions, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
The Georgia Child Fatality Review hopes to change that by educating parents about the only safe way infants should sleep: alone on their back in a crib or bassinet.
As parents, it is very tempting to want to place your infant in your bed so you can comfort them and feel “safe” while they sleep.
But those unsafe sleeping conditions are the No. 1 cause of death for infants who are otherwise healthy, GBI said.
According to the CDC, in the U.S. in 2017, there were approximately 900 deaths of infants due to accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed.
In March of this year, investigators around Georgia responded to 13 cases of “sleep-related” deaths.
According to GBI, most infant deaths in Georgia are not related to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), which many view as unpreventable, but rather to preventable sleep-related deaths.
Regardless of warnings, last year more than 100 infants died in Georgia as a result of co-sleeping with their parents or being placed in other unsafe sleep environments.
GBI is focused on spreading the word to parents and caregivers to put an end to these preventable deaths.
Georgia authorities emphasized the ABCs of Safe Sleep:
- Alone: Babies should sleep alone in their own sleep space, close but separate from their caregiver.
- Back: Babies should be placed on their back to sleep. Every sleep. Every nap. Every time.
- Crib: Babies should sleep in a crib or bassinet with a firm, flat surface with no extra items such as blankets or toys.