SAN ANTONIO – It’s being called a national crisis.
Children are dying from unsafe sleeping environments, including two children who died Sunday night in Bexar County.
“An unsafe sleeping environment is anything that doesn’t have a baby by himself or herself on her back in an environment that is uncluttered by anything else including loose blankets or toys,” said Sanjie Garza-Cox, president, Baby Education for South Texas.
And the number of fatalities from unsafe sleeping conditions has been rising dramatically over the past few years. So much so this should come as a real warning to parents of newborns.
According to the state’s Child Fatality Annual Report, in 2014, 23 infants in Bexar County died due to an unsafe sleeping environment. That number jumped to 32 in 2015, and this past October, we had already surpassed that.
“This is a national crises but it is certainly being seen and felt the most in Bexar County,” Garza-Cox said. “We have as of October we surpassed the number of infant deaths that are completely preventable that we had in 2015.”
So why are the numbers on the rise?
“We are tired. We are exhausted. We are breast feeding,” she said. “And we think this is not going to happen to us.”
And with the colder temperatures and more and more people are sleeping together, the risk of infant deaths due to suffocation or strangulation in bed goes up.
Now a new non-profit organization – Baby Education of South Texas – is focusing on improving the health and wellbeing of infants in South Texas through education and targeted interventions.
“The AP recommends that every single baby from birth to 1 year sleep in their own environment with a blanket beneath the shoulders or with a wearable blanket,” Garza-Cox said.
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