Four infants have died this summer in Pitt County. One cause of death was ruled intentional and another unknown Health experts say the the other two infants died when they were suffocated by their parents as they slept in the same bed.
These preventable tragedies are why the Pitt County Child Fatality Taskforce, made up of law enforcement and health officials, monitors infant death rates. On average, the county sees 4 to 5 infant deaths a year. Already the county has met its average and hopes to raise awareness.
Health educators suggest parents place their children in cribs near the bed instead of putting the child in the bed with them. One mother we spoke to says she understands the risk, but feels better having her child close to her in case something happens.
"I make sure he's on the far side of the bed, he won't roll over close to the wall.So I won't roll on him and he has his own space and I have my own space," said mother Kijuana Weston.
"We understand they want to be with their children, but we do want them know that a child needs their own sleep space that is safe," said Amy Hattem with the Pitt County Health Department.
The health department also advises parents to not place a lot of blankets, pillows, or stuffed animals inside the cribs either, since they can also suffocate children.