The Maine Department of Health and Human Service says it’s immediately implementing several initiatives to address two major child safety issues.
One is a safe sleep media campaign for parents of infants. Department officials say that over the past 5 years, 45 percent of child deaths in Maine were linked to unsafe sleep environments. The campaign will urge parents to place babies on their backs to sleep and on a firm surface free of loose bedding and soft objects, and not in an adult bed or on a couch or chair.
The second initiative comes in response to the department’s findings that 33 percent of child abuse victims in Maine have parents with active drug use disorders. Starting this week, the Department says it will offer additional educational home visits.
The Bangor Daily News reported last week that at least 22 children died in Maine over the past two years after safety concerns had been reported to the state.