RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - New numbers are showing there is still work to be done to help parents put children to sleep safely.
According to the Department of Social Services, last year, there were 18 reports of suspected child abuse or neglect fatalities in Central Virginia (up two from the previous year).
Eight of those deaths were found to be because of abuse or neglect and seven of them were sleep-related. That's up one from the year before and nearly 40% of the deaths that were investigated for the year in the abuse and neglect category.
Here's the data:
- For SFY 2015 for Central as of 3/30/2016 as provided by Social Services:
- Central investigated 18 reports of suspected child abuse or neglect child fatalities. (Increase of 2 from SFY2014)
- Two are still pending and one is on appeal. (there were none on appeal or pending at the time of the SFY 2014 report)
- There were eight fatalities that were determined to be founded for abuse or neglect. (Increase of 3 from SFY2014)
- There were seven unfounded reports. (Decrease of 4 from SFY2014)
- Seven of the 18 reports were considered to be sleep related. (Increase of one from SFY2014)
The state reports can be found here: http://www.dss.virginia.gov/geninfo/reports/children/cps/all_other.cgi
There are some things you can do to protect your child while he or she sleeps.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the safest place for your baby to sleep is in the room where you sleep, but not in your bed. Place the baby's crib or bassinet near your bed (within arm's reach).
The crib or bassinet should be free from toys, soft bedding, blankets and pillows.
And you've probably heard the saying, back is best.
Make sure anyone who cares for your child also knows to follow these guidelines.
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