$2,000 Donated to Prevent Infant Deaths From Unsafe Sleep

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Press Release

November 17, 2014

Safe Sleep Partners Donate $2,000 to Help Area Families
Funds will purchase Pack ‘n Plays for Healthy Families Florida participants

TALLAHASSEE- The Capital City Kiwanis Club and Betton Hills Preparatory School donated a combined $2,000 to help Healthy Families Florida purchase Pack ‘n Play portable cribs as part of the Florida Department of Children and Families’ Safe Sleep Campaign. The Pack ‘n Plays will help provide safe sleeping environments for infants in an effort to prevent tragic deaths from unsafe sleep. So far this year, there have been 59 child deaths related to unsafe sleep practices.

“Sleep-related and other preventable child deaths are so tragic,” DCF Community Development Administrator Jeanna Olson said. “We are honored to partner with Capital City Kiwanis Club, Betton Hills Preparatory School and Healthy Families Florida to provide much-needed safe sleep resources to local families.”

“As part of our partnership with Healthy Families, the Capital City Kiwanis Club has raised $1,600 for two consecutive years to purchase Pack ‘n Plays for families who don’t have a safe place for their infants to sleep. We felt compelled to get involved because accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed is the leading cause of infant deaths in Florida,” Kiwanis Club President Woody Price said.

The Capital City Kiwanis Club, one of 270 Kiwanis clubs that make up the Florida District of Kiwanis, has been serving this community and its children for more than 55 years. Since its inception, the Capital City Club has been working to make Tallahassee a better place to live and work by providing services which are beyond the scope of government.

“Betton Hills Preparatory School discussed the importance of safe sleep for infants with our students and their families back in April. Our Pre-K2 through 1st grade students raided their piggy banks and brought in a total of $400.00 to put toward Pack ‘n Plays for families in need,” said Janet Morgan, Pre-School Director for Betton Hills Preparatory School.

“Our home visitors are trained to address safe infant sleep with every family we serve; but, some families have very little income and just can’t afford to purchase a safe crib, bassinet or Pack ‘n Play. We are very grateful that the Capital City Kiwanis Club and Betton Hills Preparatory School have stepped up to help us meet this need for the families we serve. We are also proud to be a part of the Department’s Safe Sleep Campaign,” said Pam Banks, Program Manager for Healthy Families Leon.

Healthy Families Gadsden/Leon is one of 33 Healthy Families Florida home visiting programs around the state funded by the Florida Legislature and administered by the Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida in partnership with the Department of Children and Families. The program provides intensive home visiting services proven to prevent child abuse and neglect in at-risk families.

The statewide Safe Sleep Campaign was launched in September 2014 in an effort to bring together local and statewide organizations, first responders, businesses and government officials to decrease sleep-related infant deaths. The initiative includes online training, free resources, PSAs, events, social media outreach and more.

“The Safe Sleep campaign is successful because of local partnerships like this – where communities identify and pool their resources in helping families. We appreciate the continued support of the Capital City Kiwanis Club and the new partnership formed with Betton Hills Preparatory School,” said Olson.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies sleep ALONE, on their BACKS and in a CRIB. Cribs should be clear of items like blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, strings/cords, sleep positioners and bumper pads. Babies should sleep in their own cribs, as the risk of infant death is 40 times higher for babies who sleep in adult beds.

For more safe sleep information, free resources, video PSAs and an interview with a mother impacted by unsafe sleep, visit www.MyFLFamilies.com/SafeSleep.

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