Children’s Mercy & KCPD teaming up to give area babies a safe place to sleep

Free resources available to Missouri families for SIDS Awareness Month
Published: Oct. 13, 2022 at 5:29 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MISSOURI (KCTV) - Children’s Mercy and the Kansas City Police Department are teaming up to make sure babies in the Kansas City Metro have a safe place to sleep.

Anyone in Missouri with a child less than 1 year old is eligible for Children’s Mercy’s “Safe Sleep, Safe Babies” program, now in its second year.

They’re giving out free kits to families that include a Pack ‘N Play, wearable blanket, pacifier, a book and educational materials.

According to Safe Sleep Missouri, sleep-related deaths took the lives of 101 babies in the state in 2020. Ninety percent of all non-medical infant deaths were related to the child’s sleep environment.

“Sometimes we forget that this is actually a problem, because we don’t talk about it a lot, and you may not know anybody that it’s happened to---but it still does happen, and you don’t want to be the family this happens to,” nurse practitioner Amy Jones said. “Our goal is to just increase the education, increase the awareness, get more safe places for babies to sleep, and get people talking about it.”

Their biggest advice? Follow the ABCs: Make sure your baby is alone, on their back and in their crib.

KCPD officers are involved as well. When an officer responds to a call for any reason and notices a baby doesn’t have a safe place to sleep, they’ll call one of KCPD’s social workers. That social worker will then sign the family up for the program.

KCPD social services supervisor Tamara McIntosh says this isn’t about getting anyone in trouble; it’s just another way to help families get lifesaving resources.

“There is help out there,” McIntosh said. “You don’t have to be afraid or feel like someone’s going to come in your home and remove your child. This is assistance. It’s help. It’s a community resource to make sure that children are safe. This is the whole purpose of the program.”

October is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month.