Today we are releasing a report detailing the causes of sleep-related deaths over the past five years. This report kicks off Infant Mortality Awareness Month, recognized nationally throughout the month of September.

Hamilton County had 74 infant deaths related to unsafe sleep conditions between 2010-2014. That rate is twice the national average. The majority of these deaths occur when an adult rolls over on a baby while sleeping in the same bed or couch.

We are asking everyone – moms, dads, doctors, community leaders – to promote the ABCs of safe sleep: babies sleep safest Alone, on their Back, and in a Crib. Families can get a free crib by calling 211.

Nearly twice as many deaths occurred to African Americans compared to whites. However, these deaths occurred to families from a wide variety of socio-economic backgrounds and in neighborhoods throughout Cincinnati.

The report also highlights the dozens of partners and initiatives who addressed safe sleep in 2014, including the local birthing hospitals, the Cincinnati Health Department, United Way of Greater Cincinnati, and Kroger. Sleep-related deaths dropped from an average of 16 per year between 2007-2013 to 7 in 2014.

It’s important to remember that responsibility is not for mothers alone. Everyone in our community can and should advocate for safe sleep in order for it to become the standard.

Learn more in the report.

This is what safe sleep looks like