Austin, Texas — Hundreds of babies die in their sleep in Texas each year – suddenly, unexpectedly, and often without a clear explanation.
In the first ten months of this fiscal year, Child Protective Services (CPS) has investigated 164 cases involving kids who died while sharing a bed or other sleep surface (co-sleeping) with an adult or older child. That's on pace to surpass the record of 174 co-sleeping deaths investigated by CPS in FY 2011. In FY 2013 there were 169 co-sleeping deaths investigated by CPS.
All but a few of these deaths involve children who were less than one year old. Detailed statistics on bed-sharing deaths are now available on BabyRoomToBreathe.org.
While the exact causes of most of these deaths are not immediately clear, many of these tragedies might be prevented simply by giving babies "Room to Breathe" when they sleep.
Over the next two months, DFPS is spending $100,000 on an online advertising and social media campaign to educate and remind parents of infants to always follow the ABCs of safe sleep.
The ABC's of Infant Sleep:
• A - Babies should sleep alone
• B - On their backs with no blankets or bedding
• C - In a crib and cool (70 degrees)
• S - In a smoke free environment
A safe sleep environment reduces the risks of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or suffocation.
Learn more about safer sleep for babies at BabyRoomToBreathe.org or BebeEspacioParaRespirar.org, and please watch and share the Rules of Safe Sleep video on the website with anyone who cares for infants.