Join the Ohio AAP and OCTF to promote safe sleep in your community!

Sleep related deaths continue to contribute to Ohio’s high infant mortality rate – but local campaigns have shown promising results that could save the lives of many Ohio infants. This month, the Ohio AAP is partnering with the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund (OCTF) to participate in the 5th annual SIDS Awareness Month in Ohio. Including the voices of local pediatricians is one way the Ohio AAP can help communities raise awareness and save more babies – and you are an imperative part of this campaign!

The Ohio AAP has drafted a sample letter to the editor to be submitted to local newspapers (see the text at the bottom of this page) – all you have to do to be a voice for the infants in your community is review the letter and complete the form on this page.

The Ohio AAP will then direct a letter to the editor in your name to your local paper, and confirm with you once it is submitted. (You may receive a confirmation call from the paper if they decide to publish your letter.) The Ohio AAP will track how many members submit letters and those which are published as part of our SIDS Awareness Month activities.

Letter to the Editor Submission Form
If no paper is provided, the Ohio AAP media team will determine a community paper in your area to submit your letter to.
You will be notified upon submission of the letter.

Sample Letter to the Editor Text below (or download here):

In Ohio, more than 1,000 babies die each year before reaching their first birthday. In fact, more than three Ohio infants die each week due to unsafe sleeping arrangements – 66% of those are infants who were sharing a sleep surface with another person. This puts our state at a dismal 45th in the nation for infant mortality.

To help bring a spotlight to this issue, I am joining with the Ohio Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics (Ohio AAP) and Ohio Children’s Trust Fund (OCTF) to participate in SIDS Awareness Month this October. This gives us a valuable opportunity to educate our citizens about the importance of safe sleep practices, particularly during the first six months of an infant’s life.

The Ohio AAP wants to help parents understand the importance of creating a safe sleeping environment EVERY time a baby goes to sleep. Expert recommendations include:

– Room sharing, NOT bed sharing

– Always putting the baby on his or her back to sleep

– A sleep environment free from blankets, pillows, bumpers, stuffed animals and other soft objects

To learn more about infant safe sleep practices and to see what a safe sleep environment looks like, visit www.ohioaap.org/safesleep.

You can also share our SIDS Awareness month posts on social media by following the Ohio AAP on Facebook and Twitter, share with us using #morefirstbirthdays, or find other ways to promote safe sleep at: www.ohioaap.org/safesleep

Contact Hayley Southworth with questions at hsouthworth@ohioaap.org or 614-846-6258.