Safe Sleep Ambassador program launches following increase in infant deaths

Local News

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – In four months there have been two confirmed infant deaths and five more suspected deaths related to unsafe sleeping practices in Montgomery County.

In the two years of 2017 and 2018, there were ten.

The EveryOne Reach One Infant Mortality Task Force spent Thursday morning to remind parents, family members and friends about proper safe sleep procedures, along with announcing a new Safe Sleep Ambassadors Program.

“Remember that all of these fatalities involve real people, real families who have lost their children,” said Jewell Good, the assistant director at Montgomery County Children Services.

First, the Task Force wanted to remind the public that bed-sharing, caretakers’ exhaustion, and items in the crib have led to infant deaths.

These can be prevented by following the ABC method.

“A” stands for alone.

“No stuffed animals, no blankets, no pillows and no bumper pads,” said Angela Grayson, with the Cribs for Kids program at Dayton-Montgomery County Public Health. “B’ is for back, babies should always lay on their back. And “C” is for crib. Babies should always be in a crib, bassinet, play yard or cribette.”

But health officials added, it is not just up to the parents.

They encourage every Montgomery County adult to keep an eye out for unsafe sleep conditions, and say something if they see something.

It is part of the reason they are starting a brand new Safe Sleep Ambassador Program that will begin in August.

This program will be managed by Dayton-Montgomery County Public Health and will be a “train the trainer” model to expand safe sleep education throughout the county by offering  safe sleep training and material to private and public organizations.

“Once the trainers are trained, the organizations are expected to provide the safe sleep training to their employees, their volunteers or their members on safe sleep practices and become ambassadors for safe sleep for our community,” said Montgomery County Commissioner, Debbie Lieberman.

The Safe Sleep Ambassador Program will incentivize this training and provide refresher training opportunities as needed amongst the partner organizations, and also institute a community marketing campaign through its partnerships.

Montgomery County residents can also benefit from the Cribs for Kids program that provides free cribs to eligible parents.

To find out more information, call 937-224-3696 or click here.

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