BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Sleep-related infant deaths were reduced in Baltimore from a record high of 27 in 2009 to a record low of seven last year.
But after nine confirmed and three suspected sleep-related infant deaths so far in 2017, Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen is reminding residents of the ABCs of safe sleep.
ABCD stands for Alone, on their Back, in the Crib and Don’t smoke.
Dr. Wen held a safe sleep event on Monday, where good and bad examples of sleeping babies were demonstrated.
Between 2009 and 2016, 122 babies died in their sleep in Baltimore and in 95 percent of those cases, the baby was sleeping in an unsafe sleep environment, according to Wen. This included babies while sleeping on their stomachs or with heavy blankets or a pillow in their crib.
An ideal sleep environment for babies is a crib free of those types of items.
Wen says her office has more than 150 partners that help spread the safe sleep message, and are trying to increase access to free cribs and spread the word about the ABCs through libraries, health fairs and even door-to-door canvassing because “one baby dying is one baby too many.”