Honolulu (KHON2) – October is Infant Safe Sleep Month in Hawaiʻi, a time to raise awareness about the importance of safe sleep practices for infants. In 2020, the United States witnessed 3,400 infant deaths due to sudden, preventable sleep-related incidents. Hawaiʻi is taking a stand to address this issue. Princess Ebbay, Operations Manager at Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition of Hawaiʻi, joined us to highlight the significance of Infant Safe Sleep Month and explain safe sleeping practices for parents and caregivers.      

Governor Josh Green has officially designated October as “Infant Safe Sleep Month” for Hawaiʻi. The Hawaiʻi State Department of Health has launched the Safe Sleep Hawai‘i webpage, offering information on safe sleep practices, links to partner organizations, and various resources to support parents and caregivers in keeping their infants safe during sleep.

Parents and caregivers can ensure a safe sleeping environment for their babies by following the ABCs of safe sleep:

A – Alone: Keep the baby’s crib free from toys, bumpers, pillows, or blankets to reduce the risk of accidents.

B – Backs: Always place infants on their backs when putting them to sleep to minimize the risk of suffocation and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

C – Crib: Transfer infants from swings, strollers, or car seats to a crib to ensure a safe, firm sleeping surface that reduces the risk of sleep-related accidents.

The Hawaiʻi Department of Health offers “The Safe Sleep Guide for Parents” in 12 languages, which provides comprehensive information on reducing risk factors for infant sleep-related deaths. You can download the guide from the Safe Sleep Hawai‘i webpage. The webpage also provides referral links to organizations like The Parent Line, offering free monthly online safe sleep workshops for parents and caregivers. Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition of Hawaiʻi provides social services and clinical support, including mobile clinics and a 24-hour telehealth platform for families. Princess shared that Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies runs the Hawaiʻi Cribs for Kids program, which provides safe sleep education and, for income-eligible families, a GRACO Pack n’ Play to ensure a safe sleeping space for their infants. 

For information and resources on safe infant sleep practices, visit the Safe Sleep Hawai‘i webpage at health.hawaii.gov/safesleep.