Tarrant County consistently has one of the highest infant mortality rates in Texas, with 6.1 infant deaths per 1,000 live births.
As many as 3,500 infants die annually in the United States from sleep-related deaths. Unintentional suffocation is the leading cause of injury-related deaths among children less than a year old, and unsafe sleeping environments are the primary cause of infant suffocation.
To address this issue, Cook Children’s Medical Center, Alliance For Children and community partners developed a campaign in 2015 related to safe infants. This has grown into the Safe Baby Sleep Council with additional partners, including the City of Fort Worth.
The campaign’s efforts include changes to operational policy and practice, comprehensive staff training and marketing and social media efforts. Partners are distributing safe sleep environment resources such as pack ‘n plays and have established a speakers bureau to provide ongoing community education.
Mayor Betsy Price proclaimed October 2018 as Safe Baby Sleep Month to urge all residents to work together to significantly reduce infant mortality in the years to come. The proclamation will be presented at the next City Council meeting, at 7 p.m. Oct. 16 at Fort Worth City Hall, 200 Texas St.