HILLSBORO, Ore.- October is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month. This month and beyond, please join the Washington County DA’s Office and Child Abuse Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) to encourage safe infant sleep and to raise awareness about SIDS. 

Nationally, approximately 3,400 babies die suddenly and unexpectedly each year. The causes of these sleeping deaths include accidental suffocation or strangulation, sudden infant death syndrome, and unknown causes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these deaths impact children of all races and ethnicities, but are disproportionately present in several demographic groups.

In Oregon, about 40 babies die in their sleep every year. Oregon has the highest rate of unexplained infant deaths on the West Coast, approximately 22% higher than Washington and 72% higher than California.

Many of these deaths can be prevented by ensuring a safe sleeping environment for babies. Experts recommend putting babies to sleep on their back, removing loose bedding and blankets and using a firm sleeping surface.

To help reduce infant deaths, the Washington County District Attorney’s Office and Child Abuse MDT have partnered with the national Cribs for Kids Program to provide free Cribette Kits to eligible families residing in Washington County. In addition to providing a free portable crib, infant sleep sack and educational materials, MDT community partners will provide safe sleep education for eligible families.

“In my role as both a dad and the DA, I am excited about this new program to provide families with safe sleep cribs, clothing and education,” said Washington County District Attorney Kevin Barton. “Our goal is to stop every preventable child death and this takes our community a huge step in that direction.”

For more information on this program and to apply for a Cribette Kit, please visit the Washington County DA’s Office website

Additional Resources:

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website
  2. Oregon Health Authority website
  3. Photos courtesy Cribs for Kids.
Media contact information
Stephen Mayer
Public Information Officer
October 19, 2021