The Child Abuse Prevention Association wants parents to learn a new kind of ABCs that might just save children's lives.
The number of child deaths in Beaufort County has increased over the past few years, according to CAPA community relations coordinator Gloria Duryea. She said many of those deaths were babies who suffocated while sleeping in bed with an adult.
"We 100 percent discourage co-sleeping," Duryea said. "It is putting your baby at a much higher risk. So the safest way to avoid any sleeping accident is to practice the ABCs of sleep."
Duryea said the "A" is for alone, meaning babies should sleep alone. The "B" is for back; infants should be placed on their backs to sleep. And the "C" is for crib; babies should sleep in a crib or other safe sleeping environment.
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CAPA wants the number of child deaths to come down -- or better yet -- disappear. The local nonprofit organization has adopted a national sleep safety program called Cribs for Kids.
Cribs for Kids was founded in 1998 by Judy Bannon, the executive director of a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit called S.I.D.S. of PA, according to the Cribs for Kids website. Bannon started the organization to educate parents about sleep safety and to provide free cribs to families who couldn't afford them.
In an effort to spread that message around Beaufort County, CAPA has partnered with several local agencies, including South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control and South Carolina Department of Social Services. The agencies will refer eligible parents to CAPA for training and to receive Graco Pack 'N Play portable cribs.
"We're really excited about the program, and our partner agencies are as well," Duryea said.