Between 2007 and 2011, Hamilton County lost an average of 18 babies per year to unsafe sleep. This average dropped to 13 deaths per year, with a historic low of 7 deaths in 2014.

What spurred this change?

We believe that the efforts of partners all throughout Hamilton County led to this remarkable drop in deaths. Today, we’re happy to say that an additional 20 babies are alive and thriving in our community. Below are ways in which our community supports or has supported safe sleep:

Healthcare initiatives:

  • Capitalizing on the Ohio Hospital Association’s 2014 safe sleep campaign, Cradle Cincinnati brought together all seven Hamilton County birthing hospitals and Cincinnati Children’s to enhance how we talk about, model and promote safe sleep.
  • Community health workers have the unique ability to care for families in their home – during pregnancy and their baby’s first year of life. As such, we’re working with local community health worker organizations to provide individualized safe sleep support and advice to local families.
  • Cradle Cincinnati Connections, our local Healthy Start initiative, has teamed up with Comprehensive Children’s Injury Center to provide free Pack n Plays to families in some of our highest-risk zip codes.


Cradle Cincinnati Safe Sleep Billboard Resized Website


Communications initiatives:

  • Families helped Deskey, a local branding firm, design bus and billboard ads to promote safe sleep.
  • The Ohio Department of Health has launched several safe sleep messaging campaigns throughout the state. This has included billboards, radio ads, social media ads, movie theater ads and paid social media.
  • Five local families shared their story of infant loss with us. Captured via video, their stories are now being shared in prenatal health centers and hospitals in Cincinnati.
  • Cradle Cincinnati, with the help of the Cincinnati Health Department, shared special safe sleep messaging with local media outlets during the holidays.


Safe Crib


Community initiatives:

  • The Cincinnati Health Department, in partnership with Ohio Department of Health and Cribs for Kids, distributes free cribs to families in need in Hamilton County. Since launching this program in 2014, Cincinnati Health Department has connected more than 1,000 families with a safe sleep environment.
  • The Ohio Equity Institute, led by Hamilton County Public Health, hired and trained peer advocates to provide safe sleep trainings in two of Hamilton County’s highest-risk zip codes for sleep-related death. So far, they’ve trained families, child care providers and baby retailers on safe sleep.
  • Hamilton County Jobs and Family Services mailed safe sleep fliers to all benefits recipients during SIDS Awareness Month, and  caseworkers have been trained to provide in-home safe sleep assessments and connect families to cribs, if needed.
  • Forest Park Fire Department adopted the Direct On Scene Education (DOSE) model, in which first responders serve as safe sleep advocates in their community, provide in-home education to families, and connect families to cribs.
  • Kroger shared safe sleep messaging in the baby food and diaper aisles at local stores.
  • Cincinnati Water Works included safe sleep messaging in their monthly water bills.

For more information or to get involved, email