Safe Sleep Saves Lives!

kerncaresIn Kern County, 11 infants die each year as a result of unsafe sleep environments.

These deaths are 100% preventable.

Currently, Kern County ranks 7th statewide in infant mortality rate with the top three causes being prematurity, congenital anomalies, and unexpected infant deaths that occur during sleep. The death of any infant is tragic, but it’s especially tragic when it is entirely preventable.

One of the most important things a baby needs is a safe place to sleep. A baby’s risk of dying from suffocation and accidents increases 40 times when sleeping in an adult bed with parents or anyone else, rather than an empty crib. Between 2009 and 2013, an average of 11 Kern County infants have died annually in their sleep with most linked to an unsafe sleep environment.

During the month of October, Kern Cares is inviting the community to be a Kern Cares Infant Safe Sleep Partner and commit to helping parents know the importance of safe sleep practices in protecting their babies from suffocation, accidents and SIDS during sleep.

  • If you are part of an agency that works directly with families, a health provider or a child care provider, please spread the word about infant safe sleep practices by ordering and sharing FREE resources from NICHD Free Publications & Materials.
  • If you are a home visitor, please ask where does the baby sleep and what do the parents do to make sure that their baby is in a safe sleep area.
  • If you a family member or friend of parents with an infant, please read the Kern Cares How You Can Get Involved in Infant Safe Sleeping handout and find ways you can promote infant safe sleeping in our community that will fit any busy schedule.
  • If you are a parent or grandparent, please place your baby on his/her back in an empty crib for EVERY sleep with a firm, tight-fitting mattress and a fitted bottom sheet specifically made for crib use. Remember to share this information with anyone who cares for your baby including older siblings in the home.

The following is a list of events are opportunities for family advocates, parents and caregivers to learn more about the relationship between unsafe sleep and infant death, pick up materials and make a personal pledge to create safe sleeping environments for infants.

Kern County General Collaborative Meeting
Thursday, October 16, 8:30AM – 10:00AM
2000 K Street in Bakersfield
Kern Cares Spotlight presentation from Kern County Public Health Department on safe sleep safety guidelines, home visitor practices to promote safe sleeping environments for infants and programs to help connect families with safety information.

Learn More About Local Efforts To Build Strong Families & Protect Children

Contact Kern County Network for Children for more information!
Mail: 1300 17th St.
Physical: 1212 18th St.
Bakersfield, CA 93301

Phone: 661-636-4488
Fax: 661-636-4501