Taking safe sleep message door-to-door
Milwaukee -- As the last days of summer are upon us, teens from local nonprofit groups, Running Rebels and Safe & Sound, are set to dedicate this afternoon to spread the message of safe sleep door-to-door within two local zip codes where a baby has died.
The effort asks everyone in the community, not just parents, to become ambassadors for safe sleep conditions by placing a "Safe Sleep Home" sign in their windows.
The grassroots campaign is part of Mayor Tom Barrett's goal to reduce the overall infant mortality rate in Milwaukee by 10% by 2017, while simultaneously reducing the African-American infant mortality rate by 15% in the same time period.
"While we have made progress in reducing Milwaukee's infant mortality rate, we continue to see a disheartening number of infant deaths in our city," said Mayor Tom Barrett. "This door-by-door effort will bring the safe sleep message directly to homes in our community."
Deaths related to unsafe sleep environments make up approximately 15% to 20% of all infant deaths in the city. In 2012, preliminary data indicates 18 infants in the city died as a result of unsafe sleep conditions. So far in 2013, data indicates Milwaukee has seen seven infant deaths that may be attributed to unsafe sleep conditions.
The Safe Sleep Home Sign Campaign Kick-off is at 3 p.m. this afternoon at the Reformation Lutheran Church, 2201 N. 35th Street, Milwaukee. Event speakers are Common Council President Willie Hines, Jr.; Commissioner of Health Bevan K. Baker; and Milwaukee Fire Department Assistant Chief Michael Romas.