Oklahoma State Health Department adopts Sleep Safe campaign

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ARDMORE , OK - The thought of infant death strikes fear into the hearts of parents. That's why the Oklahoma State Health Department started an infant death awareness campaign called Sleep Safe.

Mom and grandmother Angela Owens says parents need to listen up.

"I think people really do need to be more aware because it has really been a growing problem," said Owens.

Sleep Safe started in 1994 as Back to Sleep, aimed to tell parents to put babies on their backs to sleep to reduce sudden infant death syndrome. Since then SIDS cases have dropped more than 50 percent.

Sharon Ford with the Carter County health Department says non-SIDS sleeping deaths haven't received as much attention because they often result from common sleeping arrangements.

"The most recent events have involved children that have been sleeping in bed with adults," Ford said.

Ford says more than half of parents have allowed a baby to sleep in bed with them.

While their intentions may be sweet, experts say it's not safe.

"People want to snuggle with babies," said Ford. "They're sweet and we think that's a safe thing to do, but a lot of times adults can roll over on a sleeping infant."

Owens says this has led to heartache.

"i've known a lot of people who've lost their children to this," she said.

Experts say parents should avoid using soft bedding like bumper pads and blankets and keep your baby in a cool room and away from cigarette smoke.

If you follow Safe Sleep's advice, the life you save could be your child's.