Running for Safe Sleep

Runners start the Frederick County, MD, Crib Crawl 5K on April 7, 2012.

Runners start the Frederick County, MD, Crib Crawl 5K on April 7, 2012.

This isn’t just any 5K. It’s a 5K for Safe Sleep. And it’s something you can replicate in your own community.

The photo above is from a recent 5K run in Frederick County, Md. The organizers called it the Crib Crawl 5K. Their mission? Raise money to purchase safe cribs for families who can’t afford a crib or bassinet.

Jackie Whalen, of Frederick County Child Protective Services, tells us that about 10 children died in sleep-related fatalities in Frederick County from 2008 through 2011.

“All the children died sleeping with adults in beds or in places that had too much bedding,” Frederick County social services administrative assistant Melissa Myers told the Frederick News Post.

This is a problem nationwide. Of the hundreds of deaths associated with unsafe sleep environments during the past 20 years, many involved pillows and cushions. Nearly half of the infant crib deaths and two-thirds of bassinet deaths reported to CPSC each year are suffocations because of pillows, thick quilts and overcrowding in the baby’s sleeping space.

The Frederick County deaths sparked the child welfare department to embark on a safe sleep education campaign in the county. “I was inspired by our prevention efforts, the passion of our staff members about Safe Sleeping and have always wanted to have a 5K involving child welfare issues,” Jackie Whalen told us.

If you’d like to organize Safe Sleep efforts in your community and need free materials, you can get them from us. Here are some ideas:

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