DAYTON, Ohio — Health experts and advocates are reminding parents about the importance of safe sleep for babies.
According to the Ohio chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, in the Buckeye State, three infants die each week in unsafe sleeping areas.
With help from Public Health Dayton Montgomery County, Greene County hosted its first Cribs for Kids Pack-N-Play giveaway.
In today’s economy with inflation, it can be a lifesaver.
“It’s not my first, we have brothers that are very excited for a baby sister,” said Kathleen Baker.
For Baker, a little help goes a long way.
She’s due in January, and she and her family just moved to Ohio from Hawaii.
“Everybody has their own family circumstances. We actually moved with the military and we couldn’t bring and we couldn’t bring any of our baby equipment with us. So, we’re starting over,” Baker said.
Whether parents like Baker are starting over or just beginning, long-time advocates like Angela Grayson always spread the word about the ABC’s of safe sleep.
“A is for alone, B is for back and C is for crib,” Grayson said.
Thanks to the program, a safe place to sleep doesn’t have to be a barrier for parents when the budget gets tight.
Families receive a Cribette which can act as both a Pack-N-Play and a bassinet, a fitted sheet, sleep sack and other baby essentials at zero cost.
With the holidays around the corner, Grayson said going the extra mile to bring a Pack-N-Play while visiting is crucial.
“It’s very important because here in Ohio, babies are dying here in Montgomery County babies are dying and this is preventable,” she said.
Grayson also stresses the need to check recalls.
Don’t assume everything you see at consignment shops and online marketplaces are considered safe anymore, especially if you’re getting someone a gift.
“Look at those expiration dates and make sure it’s safe, Google it and make sure it’s safe for the baby,” Grayson said.
As for Baker, she’s ready for her baby girl.
“It’s amazing because it really adds up, all the things you need for a baby and so to have some of those real needs covered allows you to kind of just work with your budget a little bit better as you prepare for your baby. So we are exceptionally grateful,” she said.
In the mid-90s doctors started instructing new mothers to put their babies on their backs to sleep.
The “Back to Sleep” campaign resulted in a 50% reduction in sudden infant death syndrome rates.
However, sleep-related deaths remained the No. 1 cause of infant deaths after the first month of age.