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New Public Service Announcements Designed to Reduce Infant Deaths in Tennessee

Monday, April 07, 2014 | 06:49am

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Health is launching a new series of public service announcements statewide as the next step in the ongoing campaign to reduce sleep-related deaths of infants. These PSAs feature a Tennessee mother named Sandy who lost her infant son to a sleep-related death. Sandy has made it her mission to educate other parents and caregivers about safe sleep practices for babies to help save children’s lives.

“We humbly thank Sandy for her tremendous courage and strength in graciously sharing her heart-rending story and life-saving message about the ABCs of safe sleep for babies,” said TDH Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH. ”Her message is riveting and powerful and will save many precious little lives.”

The Tennessee Department of Health launched a Safe Sleep campaign nearly two years ago to help reduce the number of infant deaths in Tennessee related to unsafe sleep practices. As a continuing effort to inform parents, grandparents and other caregivers about safe sleep for babies, public service announcements are now playing on television and radio stations. To see and listen to these PSAs, visit  

The primary message for parents and others who care for infants is to “Remember the ABCs of Safe Sleep.” There are three critical measures to follow when it’s time for an infant to sleep:

  • A is for Alone:  Always let the baby sleep alone, never in a bed with another person where the baby could be smothered.
  • B is for on the baby’s Back:  An infant should be placed to sleep on his or her back, not on his or her side or stomach.
  • C is for Crib:  Always put a baby to sleep in a crib that is empty of other items such as pillows, toys, blankets and bumper pads.

In 2012, 121 Tennessee babies died while sleeping because someone rolled on top of them, they became entrapped in something in the bed and were strangled or they were caught between an adult or another child and the back of a couch or chair. Such deaths are preventable by following the ABCs of Safe Sleep.

Learn more about the TDH Safe Sleep campaign at

The mission of the Tennessee Department of Health is to protect, promote and improve the health and prosperity of people in Tennessee. TDH has facilities in all 95 counties and provides direct services for more than one in five Tennesseans annually as well as indirect services for everyone in the state, including emergency response to health threats, licensure of health professionals, regulation of health care facilities and inspection of food service establishments.  Learn more about TDH services and programs at


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