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ABCs of Baby Safe Sleep

By Kent Donahue

June 27, 2018

The Florida Department of Health in Orange County (DOH-Orange) encourages parents to remember their ABCs of Baby Safe Sleep (Alone, Back, and Crib).


Every baby deserves a first birthday, and that is why DOH-Orange is raising awareness about Baby Sleep Safe practices in order to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

(SIDS).   Baby Safe Sleep practices include:

  • Babies sleeping Alone, on their Back, and in a Crib
  • No soft bedding and/or bumper pads in the crib
  • Don't overheat or overdress your baby
  • Parents share your room but never your bed


“Every baby deserves a first birthday. No mom or dad should see their baby die,” said DOH-Orange Health officer Dr. Kevin Sherin.  “It takes a village’ to eliminate health disparities in the first year of life. Baby Safe Sleep practices are key.”  

According to National Healthy Start Association, one of the top five leading causes of infant mortality in the United States is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) 

The 2017 Infant Mortality rate in Orange County increased to 7.2 per 1,000 live births from 6.4 in 2015. An increased has also occurred with the Black Infant Mortality rate (BIMR) the last four years. The number jumped from a low in 2014 of 8.4 to 12.3 per 1,000 live births in 2016 and up again in 2017 to 15.5 per 1,000 live births. 

DOH-Orange works collaboratively and tirelessly to ensure that every baby is able to celebrate its first birthday and beyond through programs such as Healthy Start Care Coordination; Mom Care; Nurse Family Partnership; Bellies, Babies and Beyond; and Women, Infants and Children and other community organizations.

Florida’s Healthy Start program is designed to improve maternal and infant health outcomes by providing universal risk screening of all of Florida's pregnant women and newborn infants to identify those at risk of poor birth, health, and developmental outcomes. Local Healthy Start Coalitions mobilize community action, coordinate risk-appropriate services and referrals for pregnant women and infants at risk for poor health outcomes.

There are several other risk factors that can contribute to infant mortality including: late prenatal care, being overweight, smoking, substance abuse, poor nutrition, domestic violence, pre-term labor, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). 

To learn more about the Healthy Start, Mom Care or the Bellies, Babies and Beyond program, please call 407-858-1472.