State launches Safe Sleep Campaign

3:48 PM, Dec 6, 2013   |    comments
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Sarasota, Florida -- Keeping your baby safe while they sleep is the state's goal behind its new Safe Sleep Campaign.

The Sarasota Sheriff's Office has joined forces with the Department of Children's and Families and the Healthy Start Coalition to educate parents of newborns.

During a press conference at the Sarasota Sheriff's Office Tuesday, health and safety experts say the safest way for a child to sleep is on its back, in a crib with no stuffed animals or blankets.

DCF reports 150 infant deaths last year, two in Sarasota, mostly from suffocation.

"When kids are not sleeping in cribs alone, the chances of suffocating are 40 times, 40 times greater," says Mike Carroll, Regional Director for the Department of Children and Families.

Jennifer Highland, the Executive Director for the Healthy Start Coalition, says the rules to remember are simple.

"Put your baby in a crib with nothing else in the crib, dress it appropriately for the weather and put it on its back, that's it."

Sarasota Sheriff Tom Knight says to help families who cannot afford cribs, pack and play and bassinets, the sheriff's office is now a permanent drop-off locations for donations.

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