Columbus Public Health Launching Initiative To Teach Parents Infant Sleep Safety

November 10, 2015

Safe Sleep: 10TV’s Jeff Hogan highlights the new CelebrateOne infant safe sleep campaign

Monday, November 10, 2015

Four years ago, Scott Widener had to bury his son, Jude, who died suddenly in his sleep.

Since that time, the Columbus Division of Fire Paramedic has found reward in teaching safe sleep habits wherever he goes.

As he says: “When you know better, you do better.”

Widener says every emergency call includes a sweep of sleeping conditions and solutions on the spot if needed.

A safe crib is just a phone call away and can be on site within roughly 20 minutes.

Widener is part of a wider call to action around Columbus.

The city will release some attention-grabbing commercials to the public tomorrow. Ads that show a baby’s blanket draped over a gravesite.

Appropriate, they say, because our local infant mortality numbers are still at a higher rate than state and national numbers.

In fact, Columbus Public Health tells us in the state of Ohio, three babies die every week in unsafe sleep conditions.

If you bring it closer to home, just speaking of Franklin County alone and stretch it out over a year that amounts to 10 entire kindergarten class gone before the age of one.

And according to the county, more than 90 percent of sleep-related infant deaths the last three years could have been prevented.

Also part of the plan, Columbus Public Health offers classes on the ABC’s of safe sleep for people to take back to their neighborhoods.

Program Manager Nikki Jenkins says times have changed.

“A lot of our parents are of the age where they were riding bicycles without helmets, and I said after so many years we found out if kids are coming into the E-R with so many head injuries, maybe we need to do something differently,” Jenkins said.

Different, like what Widener does, making sure every child can rest easy and safely.

Watch the story here