Texas Department of Family and Protective Services

02/02/2017 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/02/2017 09:07

Campaign Takes Aim at Infant Sleeping Deaths

DFPS News Release

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Contact: a media specialist

February 2, 2017

Campaign Takes Aim at Infant Sleeping Deaths

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) is kicking off a statewide campaign to increase awareness about the dangers of adults co-sleeping with small children.

Over the last five months, 54 Texas children have died while sleeping with an adult or older child. In addition, Child Protective Services investigates an average of 170 cases a year involving children who die while sharing a bed with an adult or older child.

Starting this week, the DFPS Prevention and Early Intervention Program will run a public service campaign that includes seven consecutive months of mobile, online, and social media advertising - plus a three-week TV campaign in all Texas media markets. The TV spots start next week, featuring a new TV ad that you can watch now on the DFPS You Tube Channel.

Bed sharing, also known as co-sleeping, increases the risk of children, primarily infants, dying in their sleep. Infants should sleep:

  • Alone - Not with an adult, child, or animal. Bed sharing, which is sleeping with a baby on a bed, couch, floor, or in a chair, is dangerous.

  • On their back - Not on their side or tummy. Place babies on their backs for every sleep time, including naps and at night.

  • In a crib - Put babies on a firm surface, preferably in a safety-approved crib with a firm crib mattress covered by a fitted sheet. Do not use bedding (such as bumper pads, pillows, blankets) or allow clutter in the sleep environment (such as toys or stuffed animals). Safety-approved bassinets, play yards, and portable cribs are also acceptable.

The Texas Pediatrics Society says the safest place for a baby to sleep is in a crib or bassinet near a parent's bed - not in a parent's bed. Parents will find short video lessons, safe sleep tips, and statistics on bed-sharing on the campaign website, BabyRoomToBreathe.org.