According to KUOW, a new report indicates that unsafe sleep conditions are the leading cause of death for infants in families who have come into contact with the child welfare system.
According to a report on child fatalities released Friday by Washington state’s Office of the Family and Children’s Ombuds, unsafe sleep conditions are the leading cause of death for infants in whose families have come into contact with the child welfare system.
Director-Ombudsman Patrick Dowd said children are most at risk of a sleep-related death if they come from families with histories of drug or alcohol abuse, domestic violence or mental health disorders. And he said it’s not enough to just inform parents about safe sleep habits.
“The underlying mental health issue and substance abuse issue needs to be addressed, otherwise education alone will not prevent these types of fatalities,” Dowd said.
One of Dowd’s key recommendations to reduce sleep deaths is to expand services for vulnerable expectant and new mothers including home visits by nurses.