New Dane County Campaign Urges Parents and Children to "sleep safe, sleep well"


This chart shows the increase in infant deaths from unsafe sleeping environments in Dane County. To learn more about "sleep safe, sleep well" visit www.uwhealthkids.org/kids-health-and-safety/safe-to-sleep/35395

On the radio, buses and billboards, you'll soon be getting the message, "sleep safe, sleep well."

It's a new campaign aimed at Dane County residents to spread awareness about infant safety while sleeping.

An unsafe sleep environment has lead to 22 infant deaths in the last 5 years in Dane County

Children under six months are at the highest risk for death in an unsafe sleeping environment.

"It's a concerning, high trend -- the amount of infants dying," said Daniel Stattelman-Scanlan with Madison and Dane County Public Health.

Two-thirds of the deaths are from parents who sleep with their children in the same bed, couch or chair.

"It could be a parent rolling over on a child, also the child may roll into a blanket, or a pillow, could suffocate the child," said Stattelman-Scanlan.

For parents wanting to be close to their child, the campaign stresses when it comes to sleep -- share the room, not the bed.

What's called co-sleeping isn't the only cause of these deaths.

"There's additional risk factors. Smoke in the home, inappropriate bedding, blankets, pillows in the environment, that can all play a role in the infant dying," said Stattelman-Scanlan.

"It's very concerning, and we want parents to be more aware of what a safe sleep environment looks like," said Nan Peterson Director for American Family Children's Child Health Advocacy.

Peterson is also co-chair of the Sleep Safe campaign with Stattelman-Scanlan. They knew it was time to get out the safe sleep message when they looked at the facts.

"When we looked at deaths from 2011 through 2013, so over the last three years, five infants have died annually in an unsafe sleep environment," said Stattelman-Scanlan.

With an unsettling rise in these preventable deaths, the two hope the sleep safe campaign will allow all infants to sleep soundly.


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