Child and Community Protection Team

Campaign warns of hidden hazards of placing babies in adult beds for sleeping.

Far too many babies die before their first birthday. Many of these deaths happen while babies are asleep and are preventable by placing them to sleep safely.

About the Prevention Team

The Child Fatality Prevention Team, a subcommittee of the Scotland County Health Department and Department of Social Services, launched a campaign to encourage safe sleeping practices for new and expectant parents and caregivers by raising awareness of these dangers.


The Consumer Product Safety Commission and National Institute of Child Health reports infants that sleep in adult beds die 40 times more often than those put in a proper sleeping environment.

The deaths occur from parent and sibling rollovers, suffocation or entrapment and strangulation of the infant.

In North Carolina between January 2006 and December 2010 there were 59 cases of questionable SUIDS/SIDS deaths. Of those, in respect to sleeping environment, investigators found 52% of infants were placed on their stomach or side to sleep and 71% were in an adult bed or on a sofa. Fifty percent were sharing the sleep area with a caregiver or sibling.

Investigators also reported 70% of homes had the presence of a crib and 18.5% of these cribs were being used for another purpose such as storing of toys, clothing and/or diapers.

About the Campaign

Part of the campaign includes the presentation of a video of mothers who lost their infants to this preventable death. The video will be shown in parenting classes at the Scotland County Health Department and at Scotland Memorial Hospital before mothers are discharged with their newborn. The video also will be distributed to the offices of local physician for viewing by patients.

A billboard in the County will further promote awareness and encourage caregivers not to put their babies at risk.

Additional Information

For more information, Healthy Babies Baltimore provides information on what parents and caregivers need to know about safe sleep and where a video can be viewed about the dangers of co-sleeping.