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Reducing infant deaths starts with me

Not long ago a close friend lost her infant daughter due to positional asphyxia. Positional asphyxia occurs when an infant sleeps/placed in an unsafe position causing insufficient intake of oxygen while breathing resulting in infant death. It was a normal day, my friend kissed the children goodbye that morning and left for work. Their father started his day, fixed breakfast for children, laid the baby in her crib, on her side and went to take a shower. When he finished his shower he went to check on the baby and found her blue and unresponsive. Despite their best efforts – their angel was gone.

I’ll never forget the funeral, my friend’s words pierced me. She stated “I don’t understand – the nurses placed her on her side with a blanket rolled behind her back.”

It was devastating to hear and an eye opener that  as a nurse in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit at Dayton Children’s I have the obligation to lead by example. That’s why it will start with me, I’m making it my mission to educate nurses, physicians, family and friends on safe sleep practices so that more babies can celebrate their 1st birthday. I hope you will join me!

The message is simple – Remember the ABC’s of Safe Sleep! Babies should sleep Alone, on the Back and in a Crib. Let’s keep these babies safe!

Guest Blogger Tiffany Johnson
Tiffany Johnson, RN, has been a Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse for 7 years and has been a labor and delivery nurse fo 5 years. She lives in Springfield, Ohio with her husband and six children.


  1. Reply
    Nancy Nevin-Folino April 19, 2013

    Thanks Tiffany for bringing an improtant message to me and our reading public. An infant death is a tragedy to all of us. My babies (23 and 25 y/o now) slept on their tummies as instructed with the latest recommendations of the time. I am glad we are talking about the NEW and MOST CURRENT recommendations for putting a baby on it’s back to sleep. Thanks again, and my heart goes out to your friend and her family.

  2. Reply
    Kori Hutchinson April 19, 2013

    Great blog Tiffany! Thank you for sharing your personal story in an effort to raise awareness about safe sleep for babies. Our babies are lucky to have you advocating for them and I am happy to join you in your mission for more 1st birthdays!

  3. Reply
    Joyce Okwuoha April 19, 2013


  4. Reply
    Dianna Williamson April 19, 2013

    What a sad story Tiffany.  And unfortunately, one that is repeated over and over again.  Thanks for getting the message out about SAFE sleeping practices. Every baby is special and deserves a lifetime of birthdays.

  5. Reply
    Diane Hill April 19, 2013

    Tiffany,thank you for bringing this very important message to all who care for infants. I hope that everyone that reads your story follows your advice, and always use the safe sleep for babies , so that they will not have to know the pain that your friend has endured. I’m sorry for your frie
    nds lost. I also want to thank you, and all the staff at Dayton
    Childrens Hospital for the care,and love that all of you give to all the children.

  6. Reply
    Lula Jones April 19, 2013

    I read your story and my heart goes out to your friend. I am also glad that the time to speak for the babies and how to sleep is now being brought out. Keep doing the amazing work….

  7. Reply
    Lula Jones April 19, 2013

    I read your story and my heart goes out to your friend and her family. I am so happy someone has taken the time to put the word out on the proper way for a baby to sleep and I hope to God it sinks in and it is taken seriously for the sake of the babies….

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    Tammi April 20, 2013

    Great article Tiffany!  Your personal experience keeps it real. New mothers will benefit from this safety tip.  Keep up the good work – safety awareness is key!

  9. Reply
    LETITA OGLESBY April 22, 2013

    This is such an important topic,glad you are getting the word out. I will continue to do my part in  helping more babies reach their first birthday.  Letita Oglesby.

  10. Reply
    Amber April 22, 2013

    Tiffany this is an incredibly sad stroy but thank you for sharing your personal experience and being an advocate for safe sleep! I will be glad to help your mission and hope to raise awareness for safe sleep practices!

  11. Reply
    Vicki Stanley April 25, 2013

    Thank you for this very important message. I hope your advice will give new parents a better understanding in keeping their child safe.  Your knowledge will help more parents understand the safety of their child…Keep up the great work!!!

  12. Reply
    Carrie Tinsley April 28, 2013

    Tiffany, thank you so much for your blog! I am adopting a baby at 42 and with my other children I have followed what the advise was at the time for putting them to sleep. The first one was on her stomach, the other 3 was their side. You have brought awareness to me to not sleep with my baby(which I did with the last one and by the grace of God he survived)and to put him to sleep on his back!! There is nothing more precious than a baby I want to do everything to keep my baby safe!! May God bless your friend and God bless you for bringing this awareness to moms!!

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