Saturday, May 24, 2014
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW)- Sudden infant death syndrome is the leading cause of death for children under a year old.
A local group is teaching parents how to keep their children safe from preventable deaths. Carla Allen was 10 years old when her baby brother Joshua was born.
"He came home in a Christmas stocking," Allen said.
Allen was the oldest of three girls, and was so excited to have a baby brother, but one tragic morning would shape her life forever.
"One morning before school I woke up to my mom screaming, and it's because she found my brother lifeless at 3 months of age," Allen said.
It's been 23 years but that loss has impacted Allen's entire life. Now, she's a mother of three and a labor and delivery nurse. She's using her story as a mission to help others.
"The tragedies of your life always kind of impact who you are, and who you become, and the things you become the most passionate about. I feel like safe sleep for infants and anything to reduce the risk of SIDS to anyone because I would never want a family to have to go through that," Allen said.
In Georgia, there are more than 25 sleep related infant deaths a year. Allen said always lay your baby on their back to sleep, and said all your baby needs is a nice hard mattress and a fitted sheet.
Certain injuries peak at certain ages. Under the age of 1 the leading cause of death is sleeping related. For children ages 1-4 is water related, and ages 5 to 14 motor vehicle related. An ounce of prevention can save a life, experts said.
"Batteries, television tip overs, these were not around just a generation ago so having events like this where families can come and learn what the new issues are and what the older issues are as well is critical for saving children," said Rene Hopkins, coordinator for Safe Kids of Greater Augusta.