Sheriff's Office giving away cribs in Hillsborough

12:15 PM, Dec 13, 2013   |    comments
Bumper pads are cushions that attach to the slats of a crib above the mattress, as shown here.
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TAMPA - The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office has launched a campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of infants sleeping with parents or other siblings.

As part of the campaign, the sheriff's office is giving away safe cribs to parents with infants.

Statewide statistics indicate nearly a dozen children a month are dying because of unsafe sleeping conditions. The Department of Children and Families says 143 infants have died that way in Florida so far this year.

In Hillsborough County, a dozen babies died between Jan. 1 and Nov. 31 this year as a result of unsafe sleeping conditions, deputies said. The deaths were directly attributed to babies sleeping with parents, siblings or in unsafe bedding, deputies said. 

As part of the campaign, the sheriff's office is giving away safe cribs to parents with infants.

Such tragedies can be avoided, says Major Robert Bullara who heads the Child Protective Investigation Division. One way to prevent this, he said, is by giving away safe cribs to people who don't have one or can't afford one.

"If we can save a child," he said, "we're going to take care of that."

The sheriff's office is offering safe, portable cribs to the public. The cribs are free but parents have to show up to get them; they aren't being given to friends or relatives.

Anyone needing a safe crib is asked to call the department at (813) 627-2039. So far, 10 people have asked about the cribs and the department has given away four or five.

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