Department of Children and Families
David E. Wilkins
February 14, 2012
to help prevent baby deaths
WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. – Local pediatricians and community organizations joined the Florida Department of Children and Families today in sending a message to families throughout Palm Beach County: Babies sleep safest when they are Alone, on their Backs, in an uncluttered Crib.
and his daughter, Jermaria.
"Today is Valentine's Day. What better way can a mother, father, grandparent, aunt, uncle or other caregiver show love for a child than to provide a safe environment for that child?" said Dennis Miles, interim Southeast Regional Managing Director for the Florida Department of Children and Families.
At a news conference at DCF's administrative offices in downtown West Palm Beach, DCF, the Clinics Can Help Foundation, the Children's Services Council of Palm Beach County, Allegany Franciscan Ministries, Child and Family Connections, the Palm Beach County Health Department, local hospitals and pediatricians promoted the safe sleep message during a celebration of The CRIBS Project. The C.R.I.B.S. Project (Cribs 'R' for Infant/Baby Safety) was formed in response to a series of deaths and injuries due to infants and others sharing beds. The CRIBS Project enables parents who cannot afford to purchase a crib and who are referred by a DCF child protective investigator to attend a safe sleep education course and receive a free portable crib, a GRACO Pack 'n Play.
Today, Siedah Brown of West Palm Beach and her son Brian, a day shy of turning 3 months old, received the 100th portable crib provided by The CRIBS Project. Jermar Roberson of Lake Worth and his nearly 2-month-old daughter, Jermaria, also attended the celebration and completed a Safe Sleep Education Course today. Flor Estubiñan of Greenacres returned for the celebration with her 3-month-old daughter, Linda Maria, after receiving a portable crib through The CRIBS Project last year.
with her daughter, Linda Maria.
Local pediatricians, Dr. Ivy Faske, Dr. Ron Romear, Dr. Amy Aqua and Dr. Melissa McNally, emphasized the importance of babies sleeping alone - without adults or siblings, on their backs, in a crib without stuffed animals, fluffy pillows and blankets. The pediatricians acknowledged that professional advice, based on research and tragedies, has changed since many grandparents had babies of their own.
Since January 2010, 19 babies in Palm Beach County have died after being placed in unsafe sleep environments. That includes three newborns this year alone. The CRIBS Project today celebrated the 100 babies in Palm Beach County who have benefited from this program.
Donations for The CRIBS Project can be made to Clinics Can Help Foundation, 1550 Latham Road, Unit #10, West Palm Beach, FL 33409.
Pediatricians and organizations who wish to broadcast an 11-minute safe sleep video and/or a 30-second public service announcement in English and Spanish about safe sleep can receive a DVD sponsored by Prevent Child Abuse Florida, The Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida, the State of Florida Department of Health and the Florida Department of Children and Families. To receive a DVD, contact Elisa Cramer, DCF Community Development Administrator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (561) 837-5686.
DCF Partners for Promise supporting The CRIBS Project include: Clinics Can Help, Cribs for Kids, the Children's Services Council of Palm Beach County, Allegany Franciscan Ministries, Child and Family Connections, The Ounce of Prevention Fund and Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners Government TV 20.