- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 29, 2016

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (AP) - Officials say that nearly half of the 50 child deaths investigated in the Hampton Roads area in the last fiscal year came as a result of unsafe sleeping conditions.

News outlets report that the Eastern Region Department of Social Service agencies released a report Monday in which officials concluded that 21 children died from unsafe sleeping conditions, up from a total of 15 the year before.

Another 13 of the deaths were attributed to abuse or neglect, a drop from 2014’s total of 17.

Virginia Department of Social Services Eastern Regional Director Jo Anne Wilson-Harfst says the data indicates that parents need more education regarding unsafe sleeping situations, which include sleeping with an adult, as well as putting babies to sleep on their stomachs or in bedding that is too soft.

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