Public can prevent infant deaths with safe sleep practices

The Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health announces the launch of a Safe Sleep awareness event on Wednesday from 10 a.m. to noon at the Smith’s Food & Drug Store at 750 South Meadows Parkway, Reno, to stop the No. 1 cause of infant death between the ages of one month and one year.

A Safe Sleep bus provided by the Regional Transportation Commission will be on site, as well as Safe Sleep and injury prevention materials from DPBH and Cribs for Kids of Safe Kids Washoe County. A collaborative effort to reduce the infant mortality rate in Nevada by promoting Safe Sleep practices is comprised of the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health Maternal and Child Health and Home Visiting programs, Smith’s Food & Drugs, Cribs for Kids of Safe Kids Washoe County, the Regional Transportation Commission, Baby Safe Sleep of the Southern Nevada Health District, and materials from Cradle Cincinnati, as well as local media outlets helping to get the message out. Many direct service providers also convey Safe Sleep messages to parents each and every day.

Every infant death due to unsafe sleep is preventable. Because infant deaths that involve unsafe sleep conditions in Nevada can occur when the baby is in the care of someone other than parents, we all need to be educated about Safe Sleep. Safe Sleep educational campaigns have proven to reduce infant deaths. From 2007-2011, 9.5 percent of all infant deaths in Nevada were sleep related. Safe sleeping practices include placing a baby to sleep ALONE, on their BACK, and in a CRIB — at all times, no exceptions.

ALONE: Do not sleep with a baby ever. Do not share sleeping spaces — even with siblings.

On BACK: Placing a baby to sleep on their back greatly reduces infant deaths.

In a CRIB: Use a firm crib mattress covered by a fitted sheet. Do not put a baby to sleep on a bed or a couch. Keep pillows, stuffed animals, bumper padding and other soft items out of the baby’s sleeping area, and keep all items away from the baby’s face. Also, refrain from using car seats, swings or strollers for routine sleep. Keep the crib in your room close by.

Safe Sleep for babies also includes a smoke-free environment, a pacifier, and breastfeeding. Also do not overheat a baby during sleep.

For more information on Safe Sleep practices or about the Maternal and Child Health Program, please contact

Deborah Aquino, Title V/Maternal and Child Health Program Manager, at or by calling (775) 684-4285.


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