Healthy infants remain at risk due to unsafe sleeping practices. In addition to the danger posed by placing infants on their backs while sleeping, there are other factors that make the sleep environment unsafe. Sleep-related injuries are by far the leading cause of injury-related deaths among infants in Hawai‘i and the third leading cause of death overall. When it was discovered that little information about this (including prevention tips) was being shared with the public, a comprehensive educational campaign became a primary child health and safety need. The Safe Sleep Hawai‘i Committee was formed to address this need and is now following an action plan based on the “Spectrum of Prevention,” a multi-level prevention approach.
Three sub-committees focus on different levels of prevention identified in the plan: Training and Education, Policy and Organization, and Outreach and Public Relations. Safe Sleep Hawai‘i is comprised of many public agencies and community organizations that provide services to families with infants and young children. The Maternal and Child Health Branch at the Hawai‘i Department of Health serves as the lead agency for the project with assistance from the Injury Prevention and Control Program and the Keiki Injury Prevention Coalition/SAFE KIDS Hawai‘i.