Sleep-related death is the leading cause of non-natural infant death in Virginia. In 2016, nearly half of all abuse/neglect-related child fatalities in Virginia, of infants up to one year of age, were related to unsafe sleep practices, which were either the result of an unsafe sleep surface, co-sleeping, or how the child was placed to sleep.
The Safe Sleep 365 campaign is designed to educate parents and caregivers regarding the steps they can take to prevent infant sleep-related death, and builds on the core principles of Alone, Apart and Always to emphasize simple practices all Virginians can employ to provide a safe and healthy environment for infants during sleep. As an extension of our ongoing efforts, the Virginia Department of Social Services will equip Virginia’s new and expecting families with safe sleep education and resources, as part of a new partnership with the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU and The Baby Box Co.
Every year, an estimated 3,700 infants die in the United States due to sudden unexpected infant death (SUID), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We all have an important role to play in keeping Virginia’s children safe. Let’s work together to bring greater awareness to safe sleep practices, and ensure infants have a safe and healthy start in life. For more information on safe sleep statistics, click here.