October is SIDS/Safe Sleep Awareness Month. This month and every month, it's their mission at Rainbow Fleet in Oklahoma City to help address a devastating problem in our state.
“Oklahoma ranks pretty high for infant deaths related to unsafe sleep practices,” said Carrie Williams, Executive Director of Rainbow Fleet.
The nonprofit trains child care providers and parents on how to reduce the risks.
“We talk about the ABC’s of safe sleep,” Williams said. “All babies should sleep alone, so room sharing, but not bed sharing. They should have their own crib that is free from any objects – so just a firm, flat surface. They also need to sleep on their backs. And then, no dangers in the crib. So, no stuffed animals, no blankets, no bumpers, nothing that can harm the baby in the crib.”
Also clocking countless hours for the cause is Edmond mom, Ali Dodd.
“The work keeps me busy and I am happy and honored to do it,” she said. “But it doesn’t replace Shepard and it doesn’t make my family whole.” In 2015, Ali's 11-week old son, Shepard suffocated at his daycare, when he was left unattended in a car seat for two hours.
Since he died, she's worked with lawmakers to affect change and shown an incredible commitment to saving lives through education. And soon she'll be back at the Capitol, set to participate in an interim study about "leave of last resort" for state employees and their families in November.
“If Shepard had been with me that day, I believe that I would still have my child,” Dodd explained. “I stayed home every day that I could without losing my job or my insurance and this was my sixth day back at work when he died at his daycare. So, I want families to have more options.”
Rainbow Fleet is giving away sleep sacks in October. Learn more here.