First Year Cleveland

First Year Cleveland

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Biomedical Research Building
11000 Cedar Avenue - 4th Floor Cleveland, OH 44106

Phone 216-368-4837
Home Solutions Eliminating Sleep-Related Deaths Safe Sleep Heroes

Safe Sleep Heroes Program

One of our goals at First Year Cleveland is to eliminate sleep-related infant deaths. In order to accomplish this, we must educate our community on safe sleep practices. Our FYC Action Team 9 Safe Sleep Heroes make this possible.

Almost all of the more than 200 sleep-related infant deaths in Cuyahoga County in the past ten years have been due to accidental suffocation.

At First Year Cleveland, one of our three priorities is to eliminate these preventable sleep-related deaths. We do this by increasing awareness of the ABCDs of Safe Sleep (Alone, on their Back, in an empty Crib and Don’t smoke) and training community members on how to spread the message of Safe Sleep.

We can all be Safe Sleep Heroes for our babies.

FYC Action Team 9, one of FYC’s 11 action teams, is the Safe Sleep Heroes team. This team focuses on promoting safe sleep and training others to become Safe Sleep Heroes for babies in our community. Action Team 9 includes parents, grandparents, caregivers, families who have experienced loss, faith-based leaders, neighbors — anyone who cares about preventing sleep-related infant deaths and promoting the best sleep practices for babies in their lives and in their community.

Anyone interested in becoming a Safe Sleep Hero can participate in a short online training session, developed by Sandra Hoch, RN, BSN, CCE, parents and grandparents that have lost a baby to a sleep-related death and The MetroHealth System. View the links below if you would like to learn more.

During the training, participants learn:

  • The ABCDs of Safe Sleep
  • The stories of families who have experienced loss because of sleep-related deaths
  • How to be a safe sleep advocate for their baby and babies in their community
  • How to engage and educate others on the ABCDs of Safe Sleep

Once Safe Sleep Heroes have completed the training, they are encouraged to talk to others about the ABCDs, and how we can all play a role in keeping babies safe. 

Our goal was to train 10,000 Safe Sleep Heroes by the end of 2020, but we've already far exceeded that number. Collectively, we are working to reduce the number of sleep-related infant deaths from a kindergarten class size to no more than a handful of babies in our community. 

Breastfeeding Hotline

According to research, the longer you exclusively breastfeed your baby (meaning not supplementing with formula or solid food), the lower his or her risk of SIDS. Keeping baby safe when breastfeeding means thinking about how tired you are before and during baby's feeding. To help ensure safe breastfeeding practices, and to answer your questions, the Ohio Department of Health has implemented a toll-free 24/7 Statewide Breastfeeding Hotline available to everyone across the state. 

The hotline is operated by The Appalachian Breastfeeding Network and staffed by live, trained lactation professionals. Services are available free of charge to all callers, including mothers, their families and partners, expectant parents, and healthcare providers.

The hotline number is 1-888-588-3423. Learn more by visiting

Become a Safe Sleep Hero today.

Want to become a Safe Sleep Hero? Access the safe sleep training module here: 
Safe Sleep Heroes Training

To view the video version of the safe sleep training module, visit: 
Safe Sleep Heroes ABCDs Training

Are you interested in safe sleep training at your workplace? Contact for more information.

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