State departments, community groups launch SIDS campaign 'Infant Safe Sleep Awareness Month'

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A state-wide prevention and education geared toward reducing the risk of sleep-related infant deaths or sleeping infant death syndrome (SIDS) kicks off Monday morning.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) will join hospital staff and community groups at Casa Central in Humboldt Park to launch "Infant Safe Sleep Awareness Month".

"Every week DCFS is notified of babies who have died from unsafe sleeping environments. These deaths are particularly tragic because they are preventable," said Marc D. Smith, acting director of DCFS, in a press release. "These are our children. All of us are responsible for making sure every parent across Illinois is aware of the danger to their child when they don't create a safe sleeping environment. DCFS is committed to partnering with everyone who shares our mission of protecting children to address this challenge."

Unsafe sleep is a leading cause of death for children 1-year-old and younger.

In 2018, 143 infants in Illinois under the age of 1 died because of being put to sleep unsafely, including 61 in Cook County.

Of the 143 infant deaths in 2018, 114 were found in locations other than a crib, bassinet or pack and play; 102 were found in positions other than on their back; and 97 were co-sleeping with another individual at the time of death.

The safe sleep message will appear on 730 buses operating across suburban Chicago until December 2020.

In addition, a "safe sleep crib" will be on display in the James R. Thompson Center lobby at 100 W. Randolph Street in Chicago between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. from Tuesday, October 15 through Friday, October 18.

For more information on Safe Sleep resources see the links below:

CDC: Safe Sleep for Babies

March of Dimes: Safe Sleep for your Baby

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Safe to Sleep

Nationwide Children's organization-Safe Sleep practices for Babies
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