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Safe Sleep Long Live Dreams Campaign

PROJECT ORIGIN

DHMIC is focused on promoting the health of women, infants and families. Sleep-related infant death was identified as a key challenge in 2013. Especially concerning was the disparity in the death rate among African American babies. DHMIC and its partners developed a multi-year statewide campaign to educate the public, providers and policy makers and equip them with knowledge, resources and tools to promote safe sleep.

PROJECT OBJECTIVES & GOALS

The goal of the campaign is to reduce the sleep-related infant mortality rate in Delaware.

One objective is to increase the number of people caring for babies who follow four key safe sleep practices: babies should sleep alone, on their back, in an empty crib, in a smoke free home. Another objective is to increase the number of providers who share these practices with their patients. A third objective is to increase community partnerships, such as with firefighters and clergy, who share these practices.

PROJECT STRATEGIES & OUTCOMES

The initiative uses the positive, hopeful theme of Long Live Dreams. It includes consumer education  materials in English and Spanish that can be ordered free of charge by providers and shared with patients and others. These include materials for families, for babysitters and for childcare providers. It also includes tools providers can use for patient education in the office. Social media is used to continuously promote safe sleep messaging, and health ambassadors and peer-to-peer educators are trained to share safe sleep messaging. Periodically, mass media and/or digital advertising featuring real Delaware families is used to share the safe sleep message. Safe sleep trained nurses also give safe sleep crib demonstrations throughout the state.  Learn more at SafeSleepDE.com

Outcomes were strong in terms of the number of providers ordering and using materials, and the number of consumers exposed to safe sleep messaging. In the early years of the initiative, some reduction was seen in sleep-related infant deaths. Coincident with the opioid crisis, sleep-related deaths with opiates involved rose.

PROJECT NEXT STEPS

The dissemination of safe sleep education media remains strong. Providers order thousands of educational materials each year. Social media messaging continues and gets engagement. Focused outreach, and educational videos regarding safe sleep were produced that specifically address addicted and recovering opiate users. Safe sleep will remain an important public health message.

Those who wish to order materials can visit https://dethrives.com/order-materials/browse. Safe sleep video are available on our YouTube channel.