Data from the latest Child Fatality Review shows that more than 82 children less than one year old died in an unsafe sleep environment in Arizona last year. That is a devastating loss to our community, which is why providing education about safe sleeping environments is one of our top priorities.

We have been working on reducing sudden unexplained infant death for more than two and a half years with several initiatives including a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a birthing outcomes summit where key stakeholders were at the table, establishing a Safe Sleep Task Force that includes several community partners, and being part of the national Collaborative Improvement & Innovation Network to Reduce Infant Mortality.

The Safe Sleep Task Force adopted standardized messaging around Safe Sleep statewide and initiated quality improvement efforts including a number of Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) cycles at pilot sites in both home visiting and hospital sites. The task force selected the ABC’s of Safe SleepAlone on my Back in a Crib, as the standardized statewide message. This message is easy to understand and translatable into Spanish.

To support the ABC’s of safe sleep, the task force developed a public education campaign that included a crib card that can be placed on the bassinet in the hospital and the crib when the baby comes home. We have 15 hospitals in the state that are distributing the crib cards as a pilot project.

We asked the pilot hospitals to conduct a parent survey and a survey of nurses who provide education to new parents. The surveys were developed to help us improve future versions of the crib card. We received nearly 1,000 surveys back, and we’re in the middle of tabulating the results.

We want to thank our community partners for their hard work on this important topic. Our partners include March of Dimes, Arizona Perinatal Trust, the home visiting alliance, Strong Families AZ, the County Health Departments, (Coconino, Maricopa, Navajo, Pima and Yuma) Safe Kids Coalitions, birthing facilities and non-birthing facilities, Arizona State Child Fatality SUID Review Committee, Child Care Licensing, Association for Supportive Child Care, WIC, American Indian Native Community, Department of Child Safety and AHCCCS.