The Department of Family and Protective Services has launched its "Room to Breathe" TV and radio campaign to prevent the accidental suffocation or strangulation of infants while they sleep. The TV ad shows a crib full of ominous-looking stuffed animals (alligators and wolves) and then warns viewers their babies should be sleeping alone, and in their crib, to protect them from danger.
Roughly 400 Texas babies die in their sleep each year. Last year, Texas Child Protective Services investigated 167 infant deaths that occurred while babies slept with adults or older children. According to an agency press release sent out Monday, "while the exact causes of many of these deaths are unknown, many might have been prevented by simply giving babies room to breathe when they sleep."
The campaign may not seem controversial, but the message is sensitive: Many Texas parents believe "co-sleeping," or sharing a bed with their child, is an important nurturing tool, and better for the child than leaving the baby alone in a crib. These parents have argued co-sleeping can be done responsibly.