The Douglas Health Futures Foundation (DHFF) accepted a generous grant from Georgia Power to help purchase pack-n-play cribs for eligible Douglas County families. The cribs are part of public health’s Safe Sleep initiative, which is aimed at preventing sleep-related infant deaths and educating parents about creating a safe sleep environment for their children.

Safe Sleep is a statewide initiative in Georgia that strives to implement public health interventions that empower parents, caregivers and healthcare providers to make informed decisions to prevent additional injury and death of infants due to controllable environmental factors.

DHFF works to support Georgia’s Safe Sleep initiative locally with direct education and equipment distribution (e.g., sleep sacks with back placement reminders, Pack ‘n Plays for a safe sleep surface for infants, and educational literature) in Douglas County. “We are grateful to our partners like Georgia Power who give back to the community and take an interest in helping low-income and at-need families in Douglas County,” said Lisa Crossman, Executive Director of Douglas Health Futures Foundation. “With generous donations like these, we can continue to provide more comprehensive care and make a tangible difference in the lives of our Douglas County residents.”

According to the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) Online Analytical Statistical Information System [OASIS] database, Georgia has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the country, averaging three infant deaths per week due to sleep-related causes. SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) was the third leading cause of fatality to children in Douglas County between 2009 and 2015, and suffocation was the fifth leading cause for children in the same time period.

In October 2016, the American Academy of Pediatrics expanded its safe infant sleep recommendations to reinforce sleep position (back versus stomach) and proper sleep environment. DPH launched a limited Safe Sleep initiative in 2016 to help prevent sleep-related deaths and to educate parents about creating a safe sleep environment for their children.

For more information about Safe Sleep or the Douglas Health Futures Foundation, visit douglashealthfutures.org.