In an effort to combat sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), the Grayson County Health Department has established the “Cribs for Kids” program, which provides safe sleep spaces for infants of Grayson County families in need.

Grayson County Health Department Community Health Educator Jenny Cummings said that, since the program launched in August of last year, the health department has provided safe sleep spaces to over 20 Grayson County families.

Addressing the Grayson County Fiscal Court on Tuesday, Cummings said many local families are unable to purchase safe sleep spaces — such as a crib — for infants due to the county’s high poverty rate.

According to Cummings, babies need to sleep on their backs in order to prevent the possibility of suffocation.

Additionally, she said parents’ co-sleeping with their infants is not advised for any baby under 1-year-old because there is the risk of rolling over on top of the child.

With SIDS the number one cause of death among infants under 1, Cummings is currently seeking community partners to help sponsor crib kits for Grayson County families in need. She said $100 will sponsor one crib kit for a family.

“The program not only provides a safe sleep space but also other items that help with SUID prevention, such as a pacifier and sleep sack,” Cummings said. “We also give each recipient extensive information about safe sleep.”

At the conclusion of Cummings’ presentation, the fiscal court voted to authorize the Grayson County Detention Center to donate $2,000 in unused 2020 rocket docket funding to the Cribs for Kids program.

To date, the health department has received $5,500 in donations from individuals and community business partners as a result of Tuesday’s fiscal court meeting, and, according to Cummings, Cribs for Kids is a 50/50 matching program, so every dollar the health department raises for it will be matched to purchase crib packages.

Grayson County Attorney Jeremy Logsdon said he was informed by Grayson County Coroner Joe Brad Hudson that Grayson County averages three to four instances of SUID per year.

For more information about the Cribs for Kids program, call 270-259-3141, ext. 115.

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