Child death report: Number of unsafe sleeping deaths down

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - We continue to bring awareness to the importance of safe sleeping for babies. Local advocates say the effort to reduce the number of unsafe sleeping deaths is paying off. 

The Child Death Review Team presented an overview Wednesday of its annual report. It shows a significant reduction in the number of local unsafe sleeping deaths. 

Kern County Network for Children Executive Director Tom Corson said, "We've seen a reduction due to the community out reach and due to the attention from the media, faith based communities and our hospitals."

According to the Child Death Review Team, so far this year, unsafe sleeping was a factor in two infant deaths. Last year there were 7 -- down from 12 unsafe sleeping deaths in 2015 and 16 in 2014.

There is still more work to be done. 

Corson said, "We can't slow down, for instance, unsafe sleep, it's October it's going to start to get cold, let's hit the message hard."

The report also focuses on suicide, child abuse and drowning prevention. Six local children committed suicide last year, the youngest just 11 years old. There were equally as many drownings. Three children were victims of homicide. 

Corson said, "We have to be advocates for children because at the end of the day, they have us to protect and look out for them."

The Child Death Review Team is expected to release its full report Tuesday to the Board of Supervisors. 

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