Safe Sleep



Cribs for KidsC4K logo

The UnionCounty Health Department wants every child to be safe. That's why we offer free Pack 'N Plays to Union County families who need a safe place for their baby to sleep. To be eligibile for a free Pack 'N Play, expectant parents must be at least 32 weeks or have an infant under 1 year of age and be income eligible (WIC or Medicaid eligible). To learn more about the Cribs for Kids program, please call Susie Knox, BSN at 937-642-2053.

Ohio Facts

  • More than three Ohio infant deaths each week are sleep-related.
  • Infant sleep-related deaths outnumber deaths of children of all ages (0-17) from vehicular crashes.
  • Forty-two percent of infant deaths from one month to one year old are sleep related.
  • Sixty percent of sleep related deaths occurred in adult beds, on couches or on chairs; only 23 percent occured in cribs or bassinets.
  • Sixty-six percent occuted to infants who were sharing a sleep surface with another person

Check out this safe sleep brochureicon SafeSleep_Brochure and find more information at

Safe Sleep Recommendations

  • Always place your baby on his or her back for every sleep time.

  • Always use a firm sleep surface. Car seats and other sitting devices are not recommended for routine sleep.

  • The baby should sleep in the same room as the parents, but not in the same bed (room-sharing without bed-sharing).

  • Keep soft objects or loose bedding out of the crib. This includes pillows, blankets, and bumper pads.

  • Don't use wedges and sleep positioners.

  • Pregnant women should receive regular prenatal care.

  • Don’t smoke during pregnancy or after birth.

  • Breastfeeding is recommended.

  • Offer a pacifier at nap time and bedtime.

  • Avoid covering the infant’s head or overheating.

  • Do not use home monitors or commercial devices marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS.

  • Infants should receive all recommended vaccinations.

  • Supervised, awake tummy time is recommended daily to facilitate development and minimize the occurrence of positional plagiocephaly (flat heads).    

  • See How can I reduce the risk of SIDS? the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) to learn more about each of these actions.

    Parent Tools

    • Use the Safe Crib Checklist to make sure your crib and sleep environment are safe.icon Safe-Crib-Checklist
    • The Safe Sleep Assessment Tool lists the recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics for safe sleep. icon Safe-Sleep-Assessment
    • Take our Infant Safe Sleep Quiz and be entered to win a free Side Carrier from Aprica. 
    • The Travelling Safe Sleep Crib has been on display in locations throughout the county including the Union County Health Department and the Board of Developmental Disabilities at the Harold Lewis Center. To have this crib on display at your business or school, email 

     cribUCBDD3IMG 2170 


    Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID)

    • Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID)- the death of an infant under one year of age that occurs suddenly and unexpectedly.
      • Examples include suffocation, strangulation, infection, heart problems and SIDS.
    • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)- the sudden death of an infant less than 1 year of age that cannot be explained after a thorough investigation is conducted, including a complete autopsy, examination of the death scene, and a review of the clinical history.
      • SIDS is the leading cause of infant death from 1–12 months old.
    • Accidental Suffocation and Strangulation in Bed (ASSB)—the leading cause of infant injury death. Several possible mechanisms can cause sleep-related suffocation by obstructing an infant's airway including:
      • Suffocation by soft bedding—such as a pillow or waterbed mattress.
      • Overlay—another person overlaying or rolling on top of or against the infant.
      • Wedging or entrapment—wedging between two objects such as a mattress and wall, bed frame, or furniture.
      • Strangulation—such as when an infant's head and neck become caught between crib railings.