10 babies die in unsafe sleep conditions in Niagara County

Child Advocacy asks for help in prevention
Posted at 3:26 PM, Apr 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-24 18:01:24-04

The Niagara County Child Fatality Review Team today announced a campaign to end the tragic deaths of babies in Niagara County. 

During the past five years, 10 babies have died in unsafe sleep conditions in Niagara County. Three of these deaths happened in 2017.

All were under six months old, eight were less than three months old.

According to the Niagara County Child Fatality Review Team, most of the infants "were sleeping on an unsafe surface such as an adult bed, sofa, or chair and most were sleeping with at least one other person."

The "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep: Protecting Babies in Niagara County" campaign asks individuals and organizations across the county to prioritize safe sleep techniques for infants. 

Safe sleep techniques require infants sleep on a firm mattress with a fitted sheet in a safe crib, bassinet or portable crib free of any toys, blankets, pillows, crib bumpers, and other objects.

The campaign also offers in-person training and provides an online toolkit and other educational resources.

Unexpected child deaths are required to be fully investigated. 

“After facing so many preventable deaths, it was clear we had to prioritize safe sleep on a higher level than ever before,” said Niagara County Social Services Commissioner Anthony J. Restaino. “The purpose of the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep campaign is to save lives. First, we want to make sure that parents and caregivers understand the risks of unsafe sleep conditions. Second, we are enlisting the support of the entire community to help make safe sleep a priority by becoming educators and advocates themselves.”

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