In recognition of Safe Sleep Awareness Month, Ohio House Democratic Leader Emilia Strong Sykes discussed safe sleep practices and delivered onesies to three Akron Hospitals in partnership with the Ohio Hospital Association. Sykes visited with families, hospital staff and administrators at Akron Children’s Hospital, Cleveland Clinic Akron General and Summa Health Systems Akron Campus.


“By supporting parents and investing in ongoing education efforts by our local health partners to promote safe sleep practices, we can lower infant mortality in our community” said Leader Sykes. “Together, we can restore our promise of better, healthier lives and brighter futures for all Ohio families, and that begins with protecting our babies from preventable sleep related deaths.”

The onesies, provided by OHA who supports safe sleep advocacy, read “This Side Up” as a reminder to keep babies on their back when they sleep. As reported by the Summit County Maternal and Infant Health Quarterly Data Report, Akron zip codes 44320 and 44307 have been identified as “hot spots” to be considered high priority for interventions to promote infant vitality. With many Infant deaths due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) being classified as sleep-related, Summit County Public Health has been working with the Ohio Department of Health to promote the ABC’s of safe sleep: Alone, placed on Back, and in a Crib.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents always place their baby on their back for every sleep time, always use a firm sleep surface, and keep soft objects such as pillows, blankets, and bumper pads or loose bedding out of the crib.

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