October is National Safe Sleep Awareness Month

Every 5 days, a baby suffocates in Arizona.

It happens in rocking chairs, on couches, in car seats and bassinets. It happens in cribs and beds. Young mothers and fathers fall asleep after feeding the baby in bed, and wake up to a tragedy.
Many parents still believe co-sleeping is acceptable. It is not. Co-sleeping is a deadly practice.
We have more than statistics to prove it. We know the inconsolable parents that once believed this would never happen to them. We will never know their beautiful children, because they are no longer with us. Watch this video to hear the voice of Arizona parents that have suffered the loss of their children to sleep-related death.
It doesn’t have to be this way.

October is National Safe Sleep Awareness month as well as Domestic Violence Awareness month.
The Arizona Department of Health Services, the Department of Child Safety, the American Academy of Pediatrics Arizona Chapter, First Things First and Prevent Child Abuse Arizona are teaming up to spread the word about safe sleep.

Our “ABC’s” messaging on safe sleep in recent years, while accurate, has not resulted in caregiver behavior change or reduced infant mortality from unsafe sleep in Arizona. As a result, we are renovating messaging to specifically include “suffocation” danger in the hopes to make a difference in saving innocent lives.
LA County was successful in reducing their sleep-related infant mortality rate by 50% with a public awareness campaign entitled “Don’t wake up to a tragedy.”  With their permission, Arizona is adopting the same messaging. Spread the word about safe sleep for infants.

As home visitors, you can make sure parents know about the steps they can take to keep their babies safe.  Here are some things you can do to participate in National Safe Sleep Awareness month.

  1. Review the updated guidelines for safe sleep.
  2. Bookmark The Safe Sleep Video Quiz to use as an educational tool when visiting families.
  3. Download and make copies of the Home Visit Safety checklist and the Pledge to use Infant Safe Sleeping Practices forms for use in home visits.

And don’t forget all the training and resources on Safe Sleep available to you on the Home Visitor Portal at StrongFamiliesAZ.com.