DCF orders review of child deaths - FOX 13 News

DCF orders review of child deaths

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

How infants are positioned in the bed can be the difference between life and death.

The Florida Department of Children and Families ordered a review of child deaths reported for the first seven months of the year. Analysts described the most common cause of death as asphyxia or suffocation.

It was often the result of parents and children sleeping in the same bed.

It's a problem that experts say can be avoided.

"You may not be completely aware your child is there if you're a heavy sleeper," St. Joseph's Hospital Child Advocate Deborah Sickmon

said. "We recommend that you keep the child in the same room, but in their own bassinet or crib."

Sleeping alone can still be dangerous for babies.

The review found "some children died after being placed face down on mattresses or placed in cribs with pillows, comforters and other soft objects."

Sickmon says the safest way for babies to sleep is on their back.

"The littlest ones, they don't have that upper body strength or the head-neck muscle strength to turn their head to get them out of a difficult situation. If they get wedged up between a bumper rail and a mattress of a crib, they may not have enough oxygen. They can't physically turn their head to get the oxygen they need," she said.

Sickmon says it is important to remind all caregivers of safe sleep practices.

"Remember to tell your other care givers, grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts and uncles who are watching your child, remind them to put the baby to sleep on their back as well," the child advocate said.

This is one way to save a life just beginning.

For a complete look at the DCF review, follow this link: http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/newsroom/pressreleases/docs/20131105_NovCaseyReport.pdf

 

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