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The ABCs Can Save Lives
Washoe County declares October as Infant Safe Sleep Awareness Month.

Media Release
For Immediate Release

Contact: Chris Ciarlo

Reno, Nev. Oct. 7, 2019. Unsafe sleep practices are one of the leading causes of death among otherwise healthy infants under the age of one in Washoe County. There have been 18 infant deaths in Washoe County from Fiscal Years 2015 to 2019, all due to unsafe sleep situations.

The Washoe County Human Services Agency (HSA), Washoe County Health District (WCHD) and the Medical Examiner’s Office are collaborating during Infant Safe Sleep Awareness Month throughout October in a joint effort to remind the community about the importance of knowing the ABCs of child care. When putting an infant to sleep, make sure they sleep Alone, always on their Back and in a Crib.

Babies can suffocate as a result of sleeping in an adult bed or on other dangerous sleep surfaces, such as couches, arm chairs or pillows.

“Infants sleep best alone, on a firm mattress and a tightly fitted sheet with no other items, such as toys, pillows or blankets in the sleep area,” Washoe County District Health Officer Kevin Dick said.  “They should be dressed appropriately so they don’t overheat.”

In an effort to raise awareness and enhance community outreach regarding infant safe sleep practices, Washoe County is partnering with Lamar Advertising to post 50 billboards throughout Washoe County over the course of the year.

“We believe these billboards are a creative and effective way to promote safe sleep practices and remind the community of the importance of making sure Washoe County’s babies sleep safely,” HSA Children’s Services Director Ryan Gustafson said. “Washoe County is appreciative of Lamar Advertising for their generosity in helping us raise awareness about such an important issue.”

Follow Washoe County on Twitter and Facebook for infant safe sleep tips throughout October.


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Call 311 to find resources, ask questions, and utilize Washoe County services. Learn More »
Call 311 to find resources, ask questions, and utilize Washoe County services. Learn More »