Infants and toddlers in Alaska are sleeping safer, thanks to a statewide campaign spearheaded by thread, Alaska’s Child Care Resource & Referral Network.
thread launched the Safe Sleeping for Alaska’s Babies Campaign in the summer of 2012, after the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) instituted new safety standards for cribs used in child care centers. The deadline for meeting the new standards was Dec. 28, 2012.
Cribs still available for centers
With plenty of help from supporters and sponsors, thread purchased 923 new safe cribs for delivery to licensed child care centers and family child care homes in 20 communities, from Nome to Craig, Wasilla to Fairbanks. Cribs are still available, and there is no charge to the child care centers.
As a condition of receiving the cribs, child care workers must participate in four hours of training in safe sleeping practices. So far, the campaign has trained 300 early childhood educators, statewide.
“By supporting child care programs with new cribs coupled with safe sleep training, we are promoting a comprehensive safe sleep environment for Alaska’s babies,” said thread CEO Stephanie Berglund.
Alaska has more than 200 licensed child care centers and 374 licensed family child care homes.
Funding to replace outdated cribs in licensed child care programs was provided last summer by the Alaska Legislature. Even with the cost of cribs covered by the state, plenty of other resources – volunteer, financial and in-kind – were essential to the campaign. Transportation partners included Lowe’s, Span Alaska Transportation, Horizon Lines and Alaska Airlines – all helped ship and deliver cribs and crib products.
New crib standards
The new crib standards were instituted because of infant death and injuries caused by cribs. The new standards apply to full-size and non-full-size cribs, prohibit the manufacture or sale of traditional drop-side rail cribs, strengthen crib slats and mattress supports, improve the quality of hardware, and require more rigorous testing.
Safer sleep for even older children
There’s more to safe sleeping than safe cribs, and thread’s campaign includes training in safe sleep practices for children who have outgrown cribs, as well. For more information on both crib safety and how to create a safe sleep environment for your baby, visit CPSC’s crib information center and the national Safe to Sleep campaign.