According to DOH Commissioner, Doctor Howard A. Zucker, approximately 90 babies die every year in New York State from sleep related causes. Zucker says, “These tragic fatalities are preventable, and we are working to give parents the tools and information they need to keep their babies safe.”

In an effort to help keep our babies safe, the New York State Office of Children and Family Services is giving free pack-and-play cribs to hundreds of low-income families, part of the state’s multi-agency Safe Sleep for Babies campaign. The Safe Sleep for Babies campaign hopes to educate parents on preventing sleep-related deaths among infants.

“All new parents should know the ABCs of safe sleep: that babies are safest when they sleep Alone, on their Backs, in a safety-approved Crib,” OCFS Acting Commissioner Sheila Poole said. “For parents who cannot afford a safe crib, this program can be a lifesaver. County social services departments, voluntary agencies and state-funded parenting programs can request the cribs on behalf of the parents who need them to keep their babies safe.”

Each crib given away will come with informational materials reminding parents and their child’s caregivers of the dangers of unsafe sleep. Many people don't realize this, but babies can suffocate because of blankets, bumpers, and toys in their cribs. Another dangerous situation is babies who co-sleep with parents or other kids; babies who sleep on unsafe surfaces; and babies who sleep on their stomachs.

If your family could use some help and a safe bed for your baby, contact your local social services agency. The agency can request a crib on your behalf.

[New York State Office of Children and Family Services]