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First Year Cleveland

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Home About Us FYC Action Teams Eliminating Sleep-Related Deaths

FYC Action Teams

Priority Area: Eliminating Sleep-Related Deaths

(Learn more about what we're doing in this priority area)

GOAL: By the end of 2020, Cuyahoga County's sleep-related infant deaths will be reduced from 27 in 2015 to five.

RESULTS TO DATE: There were 27 sleep-related infant deaths in Cuyahoga County in 2015. This has decreased to 19 sleep-related deaths in 2018 and 17 in 2019. 

Action Team 9: Promote safe sleep and expand sleep ambassador program. 

GOAL:  Train 15,000 Safe Sleep Heroes by December 2020; reduce the number of sleep-related infant deaths in Cuyahoga County to fewer than a handful in 2020.

Recent Accomplishments: 

  • Total of 14,785 trainees as of January 31, 2020. This includes employees of MetroHealth, Cleveland Clinic, and University Hospitals, and Central Promise Neighborhood Ambassadors
  • Distributed more than 15,000 copies of Sleep Baby, Safe and Snug in partnership with Reach Out and Read and Kids’ Book Bank
  • Coordinated Safe Sleep Sunday, a faith-based community effort that included more than 50 participating churches
  • More than 2 million media impressions, including radio and social media. In February 2020, ten Safe Sleep billboards will go up, targeting the hardest-hit neighborhoods for sleep-related infant death. This will be in conjunction with 60 interior bus ads, covering routes in neighborhoods with the highest rates of sleep-related infant death. These ads will run eight weeks and be seen more than 1 million times
  • Distributed 25,000 pharmacy bags printed with safe sleep information during the month of October
  • Partnered with Popeye’s restaurants to distribute more than 150,000 postcards with information about the ABCDs of Safe Sleep and breastfeeding
  • Distributed information and materials to all 29 Cleveland Public Library branches

Rita Andolsen, The MetroHealth System
K. Michael Benz, Community Volunteer

Action Team 10: Promote smoking cessation and advocate for implementation of Tobacco21 policies.

GOAL: Reduce tobacco use during pregnancy through implementation of Tobacco 21 (T21) policies in Greater Cleveland communities and increase access to the Ohio Tobacco Quit Line (1-800-QUIT NOW) by pregnant women. 

Recent Accomplishments:  Tobacco 21 was implemented in several cities throughout Cuyahoga County through 2019. In October 2019, the Tobacco21 law went into effect throughout Ohio. The law raises the age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21. The law applies to cigarettes, e-cigarettes and vaping products. 

State officials cite data from the Institute of Medicine that raising the age from 18 to 21 will prevent or delay use, particularly in people ages 15 to 17.

Terry Allan, Cuyahoga County Board of Health

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