A picture book given to families that leaves a Tennessee hospital with a new baby is credited with decreasing deaths from unsafe sleep practices, as reported by Nashville Public Radio.
The book explains the “ABCs” of safe sleep. A baby is supposed to sleep alone, on its back, in a crib, officials say.
The Hanke family — a teacher and a doctor — were moved to action after their son died while napping face-down on his father’s chest in 2010.
Michael Warren, Tennessee’s top family health official, credits the book for a decline in fatalities, from 130 in 2012 (before the books arrival) down to 99 in 2014.
“So we’ve seen a 25 percent reduction, which, if you think in terms of moving big public health needles, that’s tremendous,” Warren says.
Sam Hanke says the couple had anecdotal information about the book’s impact.
“But really it’s today, and the great work that the Tennessee Department of Health has done … that’s actually saving babies’ lives, that is really special to us.”