State Agency Highlights Preventable Child Deaths | Connecticut Public Radio

State Agency Highlights Preventable Child Deaths

Apr 8, 2019

Connecticut has a relatively low death rate among children, but the state’s Department of Children and Families is calling for more awareness of simple steps that can help keep kids safe. 

Despite the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s recent findings that Connecticut has the second lowest child and teen death rate, there are still preventable deaths happening in the state.

On Monday, a demonstration by DCF specifically highlighted those deaths due to improper sleeping conditions for infants.

Assistant Child Advocate Faith Vos Winkle put the situation into perspective.

“We lose, on average, a classroom size of children every year just to safe sleep issues," she said. "From 2013 through 2018, we lost 123 infants only from sleep related deaths.”

Vos Winkle advised to keep babies close but not in the same bed as adults, always put babies to sleep on their back in a clear and hazard-free environment, and don’t overdress or overheat your baby.

“These are our most vulnerable children. If you look across the 17 years that the child fatality review panel looks at, there is no other cohort of children that die the way infants do,” she said.

DCF and other collaborating organizations say raising awareness of these issues can help support parents and guardians in best practices.