Cribs for Kids Wins the National Sleep Foundation’s 2008 Healthy Sleep Community Award
The University of Arizona, Tucson, and Menlo-Atherton High School receive honorable mention for innovative, far-reaching sleep education campaigns
WASHINGTON, DC, (March 3, 2008) – Today, the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) announces the winner of its 2008 Healthy Sleep Community Award: Cribs for Kids, a campaign that donates cribs to low-income families in an effort to reduce the risk of injury and death among infants caused by unsafe sleep environments. In addition, NSF recognizes the University of Arizona, Tucson, and Menlo-Atherton High School with honorable mentions for their comprehensive, student-focused sleep education campaigns.
The Cribs for Kids campaign was founded in 1998 in Pittsburgh, PA, in response to the discovery that 90 percent of the infant deaths diagnosed as sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in the Pittsburgh region had died in places other than a properly assembled and maintained crib. Since 1998, Cribs for Kids has donated more than 40,000 safety-approved cribs to low-income, high-risk families nationwide to help reduce the risk of SIDS and accidental suffocation. To date, every baby who has participated in the Cribs for Kids campaign has celebrated his or her first birthday. Statistically, between 20 and 40 infants from those high-risk families could have died from SIDS or accidental suffocation, according to Cribs for Kids.
A critical goal of Cribs for Kids is to raise awareness among all Americans of the risks associated with infants sleeping in unsafe sleep environments. In April 2008, Cribs for Kids will hold its first national conference, entitled Breaking the Cycle – a Safe-Sleep Summit in Pittsburgh, PA. The conference will unite Cribs for Kids partners with researchers and experts on safe sleep for infants to share best practices and discuss ways to protect infants while sleeping. NSF chose Cribs for Kids as the winner of the 2008 Healthy Sleep Community Award based on these programs and the potential for Cribs for Kids to bring its campaign to the next level by expanding its infant safe-sleep education efforts into all 50 states through its network of Cribs for Kids partners.
"We are very pleased to present this award to Cribs for Kids," said Darrel Drobnich, NSF's Chief Executive Officer (Acting). "Providing a safe environment that is conducive to sleep is essential to the well-being of young children and is the first step toward the development of life-long healthy sleep habits and behaviors. Cribs for Kids has done an exemplary job of improving the sleep and health of thousands of children as well as providing opportunities to educate new parents about the importance of sleep and proper sleep habits. We applaud them for their efforts and hope to promote their efforts more in the future.”
The Cribs for Kids model has also helped other organizations to develop safe sleeping programs in their communities. They offer a free toolkit complete with safe sleep brochures, research, training manuals, grant-writing tools and information on how to set up a local chapter. There are currently 155 local Cribs for Kids chapters across North America.
“Cribs for Kids is honored to be the recipient of this prestigious award from the National Sleep Foundation,” said Judith Bannon, Executive Director and Founder of the Cribs for Kids Program. “This recognition will bring national awareness of the importance of a safe-sleep environment for infants. Through this awareness, many infant deaths can be prevented.”
Additionally, NSF recognizes the University of Arizona, Tucson, and Menlo-Atherton High School in Atherton, CA, for their efforts to raise awareness of the importance of sleep and the consequences of sleep deprivation among their student populations as well as parents, faculty and school administrators. Both schools developed comprehensive programs that include sleep assessments, healthy sleep tips and information about sleep problems and drowsy driving. Such programs can serve as a model for other schools interested in improving the sleep, health, mood, safety, and performance of their students.
The NSF Healthy Sleep Community Award recognizes outstanding efforts by a town, city, district, state, or other community organization to initiate or continue a sleep activity or program with effective, long-lasting results on a significant proportion of a population. The activity or program can take place in a single community, an entire city, throughout multiple cities, or be a statewide effort. Past winners of the award include Schneider National, Inc., one of the largest truckload carriers in North America, for their obstructive sleep apnea detection and treatment program, and the Harvard Work Hours, Health and Safety Group, part of the Division of Sleep Medicine at Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston, MA, that studies the effects of extended work hours and sleep deprivation on the safety and health of physicians, patients, police officers and the general public.
About Cribs for Kids
Cribs for Kids, an initiative of SIDS of PA, Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the elimination of infant deaths caused by unsafe sleeping environments. Cribs for Kids furthers its mission by providing infant safe sleep education and the gift of a crib to families in need. The first national Cribs for Kids conference, Breaking the Cycle – A Safe Sleep Summit will be held in Pittsburgh, PA, April 10 – 13, 2008. National presenters from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Child Death Review and the American Academy of Pediatrics will be Keynote Speakers for the conference. Visit www.cribsforkids.org to learn more about Cribs for Kids.
The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to improving public health and safety by achieving greater understanding of sleep and sleep disorders. NSF furthers its mission through sleep-related education, research, and advocacy initiatives. NSF's membership includes researchers and clinicians focused on sleep medicine as well as other professionals in the health, medical and science fields, individuals, patients and more than 800 sleep clinics throughout North America that join the Foundation's Community Sleep Awareness Partners program. For more information, visit, www.sleepfoundation.org.