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Fort Worth Fire Department promotes safe infant sleep practices

Posted March 12, 2019

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baby sleeping on stomach with words - this is unsafe, babies should always sleep on their backs

The Fort Worth Fire Departments responds to 118,000 calls each year, which allows personnel to educate many young families on safe sleep practices for infants.

All 925 firefighters in the department are being trained to spot warning signs of infants in hazardous sleep situations. The fire department is working with Cook Children’s to create the training. Firefighters will have access to resources for families who are not able to provide a safe sleep environment.

The department’s infant mortality initiative is similar to its efforts to inform residents about the value of smoke detectors. When conducted in the family’s environment, these interactions are very effective and can actually save lives.

Why is this important?

  • Unintentional suffocation is the leading cause of injury-related death among children less than one year old.
  • Unsafe sleeping environments for infants are the primary cause of infant suffocation.
  • Nationally, accidental suffocation deaths have more than doubled from 2007 to 2010.
  • The infant mortality rate for Tarrant County is consistently one of the highest in Texas and higher than national averages.

What you can do

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends these safe infant sleep practices to help prevent death by suffocation:

  • The safest place for your baby to sleep is in a crib.
  • Swaddling is no longer recommended. Use a sleep sack or long-sleeve footed pajamas to keep your baby warm.
  • Babies should sleep on their back, in a crib all the time. Even during naps.
  • No toys, blankets, pillows or bumper pads in the crib.
  • Use a firm mattress with a tight, fitted sheet.

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