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About 30 recommendations for countering a sharp increase in the number of infant deaths in licensed family child care homes since 2006 cap an analysis by a subcommittee of the Child Mortality Review Panel. The panel issued a report, Review of Child Deaths in Minnesota Licensed Family Child Care Homes (PDF), which will be used to inform work with legislative leaders to improve Minnesota's child care standards.
In May, the subcommittee began its review of data surrounding the deaths of 83 children in licensed child care homes between January 2001 and August 2012. Seventy-five percent of those deaths occurred when the infant was sleeping or in a sleep environment.
The subcommittee also reviewed best practice recommendations from government agencies and professional organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, which recommends that infants be placed to sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of sudden unexpected infant death.
The report reinforces the need for continued cooperation between the DHS and the Legislature to make necessary system improvements, including:
The Child Mortality Review Panel is responsible for examining all child deaths and near fatal injuries in families known to the social service system, or where maltreatment contributed to a fatal or near-fatal incident. The 31-member panel also reviews deaths that occur in facilities licensed by DHS.