DCF Partners with HALO SleepSacks to Save Lives this Holiday Season

For Immediate Release: December 4, 2014

DCF Partners with HALO® SleepSacks® to Save Lives this Holiday Season
Give the gift of safe sleep to help a family in need during the Holidays

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) along with Healthy Families Florida is kicking off a month long partnership with HALO® to encourage donating the gift of safe sleep and potentially save a life this holiday season.

Members of the community can donate a discounted HALO® SleepSacks® to a family in need during the month of December by visiting www.HaloSleep.com/SafeSleepFL . A $10 donation will provide one SleepSacks® Swaddle to a baby in need. Donated SleepSacks® will be distributed to parents of newborns through Healthy Families Florida. The promotion ends December 26.

“We are thrilled to partner with Healthy Families Florida and HALO® during the holidays to continue our public outreach efforts to promote safe sleep practices in our communities,” Interim Secretary Mike Carroll said. “It is crucial we join together to educate families to prevent tragic deaths due to unsafe sleeping practices.”

The HALO® SleepSacks® swaddle replaces loose blankets in the crib that can cover a baby’s face and interfere with breathing. Over 1300 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 SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). From this tragedy, HALO® and its mission were born. For more than 20 years the company has been dedicated to putting the health, safety and well-being of babies first.

The New York Times recently published an article stating, “Nearly 55 percent of infants nationwide are put to bed with soft blankets or covered by a comforter, even though such bedding raises the chances of suffocation or sudden infant death syndrome…”

Unsafe sleep is a leading cause of preventable infant death in Florida. In response, DCF and statewide partners launched the Safe Sleep campaign last year 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. Halo Innovations has been committed to reducing SIDS and sleep related deaths since 1994.

“Too often we meet families who are unaware of safe sleep practices and do not have the resources to provide a safe environment for their babies,” Executive Director of Healthy Families Florida with the Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida, Carol McNally said. “Having additional resources for the families we serve will be instrumental in our outreach efforts.”

For more information on the HALO® SleepSacks® holiday promotion or DCF’s Safe Sleep Campaign, visit: www.MyFLFamilies.com/SafeSleep . PSAs, high resolution images for download and additional tips on safe sleep are available.

Media Contact: Michelle Glady, DCF Press Secretary, 850-717-4450, michelle.glady@myflfamilies.com