Babies who enter emergency shelters with their families will have a safer place to sleep thanks to a new effort.
Just a few weeks ago, an infant died while sleeping in the same bed as their mom while staying in a shelter.
“A little baby was co-sleeping with the mother and unfortunately the baby died during the incident. This is not something that specifically happens at shelters, this is something that happens nationwide, this happens when people do co-sleep. This is something where we need to get the information out there that co-sleeping is very dangerous for little babies,” Sgt. Jason Riddlespurger with the Homeless Outreach Team through the Amarillo Police Department.
Sgt. Riddlespurger tells us it is something that can happen anywhere but the Homeless Outreach Team through APD wants to help to make sure babies in shelters have better sleeping arrangements.
“They are trying to do so much with so little, that anything we can do to help them is going to be helpful and we recognize this is a potential problem and we don’t want to see it happening again and again.”
They are collecting donations to buy Pack n Plays, sleep sacks, and educational material for families who are staying in shelters.
“It is a survival kit for safe sleeping and basically each bed and the equipment that comes with it is about $100.”
Riddlespurger hopes to be able to provide enough of these items to families so they can keep them when they get into permanent housing then have a stockpile to continue to give to shelters.
They are also hoping all parents learn about the safest way for babies to sleep.
“We also have to educate why it is so important to put them in the bed, by themselves, on their back,” added Sgt. Riddlespurger.
You can donate money to buy more survival kits to help area shelters by stopping by the City of Amarillo Public Health Department at 1000 Martin Road.
Just specify your donation is for the Baby Bed Project.