Become a Kern Cares Infant Safe Sleep Partner

In 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 Kern County Network for Children (KCNC) also invites family advocates, parents and caregivers to learn more about the relationship between unsafe sleep and infant death, to pick up materials and to make a personal pledge to create safe sleeping environments for infants at KCNC General Collaborative Meeting on Thursday, October 15, 2015 starting at 8:30 AM at 2000 K Street in Bakersfield.


Listed below are some ideas on how to get involved in different awareness campaigns from Kern Cares even if you have a few minutes, a few hours or more time!

Want to do more?