DCF Furthers Mission to Prevent Unsafe Sleep Deaths

For Immediate Release: Feb. 26, 2015

DCF Furthers Mission to Prevent Unsafe Sleep Deaths
Department distributes more than 2,000 HALO SleepSacks to Florida Families

TALLAHASSEE – The Department of Children and Families (DCF) partnered with HALO® to provide SleepSack wearable blankets to at-risk Florida families. More than 2,000 SleepSack Swaddles were ordered and will be distributed by the department to families in-need and community partners.

“Our staff will be able to provide wearable blankets to help further the department’s safe sleep initiatives and continue a dialog about the safest way for babies to sleep,” DCF Secretary Mike Carroll said. “Unsafe sleep deaths are 100 percent preventable and we are committed to ending these tragic deaths. This partnership helps us to provide a safe sleeping tool to parents who otherwise would not be able to afford it.”

Unsafe sleep is a leading cause of preventable infant death in Florida. In response, DCF and statewide partners launched the Safe Sleep Campaign in 2013 to increase public awareness that the safest way for babies to sleep is Alone on their Backs in a Crib. The partnership with HALO adds another element to the campaign that currently provides free online training and materials for Florida's first responders and encourages the public to donate portable cribs.

The SleepSack Swaddle replaces loose blankets in the crib that can cover a baby’s face and interfere with breathing. Over 1,300 hospitals nationally use it to model a safer way to sleep. Since 2005, the American Academy of Pediatrics has suggested the use of wearable blankets. HALO founder Bill Schmid and his wife Cathy lost their first born to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). From this tragedy, HALO and its mission were born. For more than 20 years the company has been dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of babies.

“We are so pleased to be working with the Florida Department of Children and Families to promote safe sleep for babies,” Schmid said. “So many infant deaths can be avoided by eliminating loose blankets in the crib, and using the HALO SleepSack wearable blanket and SleepSack Swaddle is the perfect solution.”

To learn more about how unsafe sleep deaths have affected individual communities throughout the state and how these deaths can be further prevented, visit the DCF Child Fatality Prevention website, www.MyFLFamilies.com/ChildFatality

Media Contact: Michelle Glady, DCF Press Secretary, 850-717-4450