New campaign hopes to reduce infant deaths in Fresno County

Amanda Aguilar Image
Monday, September 12, 2022
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A Fresno County organization is taking action to raise awareness about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Fresno County organization is taking action to raise awareness about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

A baby's first birthday is a momentous celebration.

However, in Fresno County, some children have their life cut short due to SIDS, which is the unexplained death, usually during sleep, of a baby less than a year old.

"It's one of the top 10 reasons in Fresno County from 2014 to 2018, but it's one of the top three reasons for our African American babies in our community," said Fabiola Gonzalez, executive director of First 5 Fresno County.

According to a Fresno County report, the top causes of death for Black children are SIDS, low birthweight and birth defects -- in that order.

The report also shows Black children's death rate is 10.31%, which is nearly double their birth rate of 5.20%.

"Most of us don't realize how critical it is for a baby to be sleeping on their back," Gonzalez said.

First 5 Fresno County is taking part in the "Sleep Safe Baby" campaign, where the organization hopes to dispel some common myths that puts babies at risk for SIDS.

"No matter how cute it is to cuddle the baby or have the baby in your arms, as soon as baby sleeps, let's transfer them to a flat surface on their back," said Gonzalez.

Sleep Safe Baby will also educate the community on the ABC's of Safe Sleep

  • A - Baby should sleep alone
  • B - Baby should sleep on their back
  • C - Baby should sleep in crib or bassinet

"New research is proving that there's ways that all of us can do something to prevent unsafe sleeping practices in our community that decrease the chances of a baby dying in their sleep," Gonzalez explained.

The campaign will last for almost two years. Community members can expect to see billboards, social media posts and more. There's also a website with lots of resources on SIDS, visit sleepsafebaby.com.