Medics and firefighters participate in infant safe sleep program
Eight Ohio first responders were trained to look for and mitigate unsafe sleep conditions while on routine calls
CLEVELAND — Eight Northeast Ohio EMS and fire personnel were trained to help prevent infant sleep-related deaths by educating families while on calls.
The program teaches medics and firefighters about infant safe sleep and trains them to look for potentially unsafe conditions while on routine calls, Cleveland.com reported.
The program, called Direct On-Scene Education, or DOSE, was founded in 2012 by Florida first responders in response to high infant mortality rate.
In Ohio, sleep-related deaths account for 15 percent of the cases reviewed by the state Child Fatality Review, more than any other cause of death, except prematurity.
Sleep-related infant deaths include sudden infant death syndrome and accidental suffocation caused by parents rolling over an infant while sleeping or by extra bedding in a crib.
"Although infant mortality rates have improved, Cuyahoga County still lags behind the state and African American infants are still dying at more than twice the rate of white infants," Daniel Ellenberger, Director of the UH EMS Training & Disaster Preparedness Institute said in a statement. "The DOSE program gives us the unique opportunity to speak to parents in the home and show them exactly what a safe sleep environment looks like."
The DOSE program teaches first responders to look for signs of an infant in a home. Once an emergency is passed, the responders ask the parents if they can see where the infant sleeps. First responders conduct a safe environment check and educate the parents about safe sleep.