New effort to make sure infants sleep safely

Nov 25, 2014

Credit Jay Hanselman

Cradle Cincinnati is announcing a couple new partnerships in an effort to prevent sleep-related infant deaths.  It is called the “Cribs for Kids” program.  

One of those involves the United Way's 211 line.  It connects people with community resources.  

Hamilton County Commissioner and Cradle Cincinnati co-chairman Todd Portune said it will help get baby cribs to parents who need them.

“No one should approach the holiday season or any time without a crib for their baby to sleep in,” Portune said.  “So all anyone needs to remember is dial 211 if you can’t afford a crib, need to get a crib, don’t have time to go to the store to get a crib.  Whatever the case may be dial 211 and you’ll get a crib.”

Officials said Hamilton County has had more than 70 infant co-sleeping deaths in the past five years, which is triple the national average.

The Cincinnati Police Department will also be working with Cradle Cincinnati.  Officers are being asked to watch for unsafe infant sleeping arrangements when they are in homes for other calls.

Cincinnati Council Member Wendell Young is also a Cradle Cincinnati co-chairman and a retired city police officer.

“Police officers may very well see homes in which children are in unsafe sleeping conditions,” Young said.  “And they have the unique opportunity because of who they know, in this case Cradle Cincinnati, to reach out to us and give us the opportunity to make contact with those families and do the preventative work we’d like to be able to do.”

Cradle is pushing the motto of the ABC's of Safe Sleep...which is every baby should sleep alone, on their back and in a crib.  

The group is trying to reduce the county's infant mortality rate, which is currently higher than the national average.