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Cribs for Kids Program Expanding Statewide

Date: 04-12-2015


Melissa Nagatsuka, MPH – Project Coordinator

Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition of Hawaii

Unintentional suffocation is a leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injury among infants1 and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the leading cause of death among infants between the age of one month and one year; the third leading cause of infant mortality overall in the United States.

In Hawai’i, data3 SIDS was the leading cause of death among post-neonate resident infants in Hawaii, accounting for 13% of the deaths over the 2010-2014 period. Data2 also indicates that only 35.4% of babies usually sleep in an environment that meets all of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) recommendations for a safe sleep environment. As many families are unaware of the simple preventative steps, as well as the behaviors and risk factors that endanger their infant, education is an ongoing area of importance for the nearly 19,000 births each year in Hawai’i.2


To decrease the number of infant deaths, Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition of Hawaii (HMHB) launched Hawaii Cribs for Kids, a free comprehensive safe sleep education program targeting high-risk, low-income families. The program provides education based on current AAP safe sleep guidelines, as well as a free GRACO Pack N Play® travel cribs for families who cannot otherwise afford to provide their baby with a safe place to sleep.
HMHB mobilized local organizations that serve populations at greatest risk, training prenatal case managers and social workers to screen and refer eligible participants. The program has been successful on Oahu, with six agency partnerships serving 117 families since the launch in March 2013. HMHB recently expanded the program to Maui, Molokai, and Lanai, where eight partner agencies have served 21 families since the launch in April 2015. Based on the success of Cribs for Kids, HMHB has future plans for statewide expansion.
For more information on Cribs for Kids or other HMHB services, please visit or contact (808) 737-5805, or by email:

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web-Based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS). 2011. Available from URL:

2 Elia J, Roberson E, Niitani L. “Hawaii Safe Sleep Quick Facts.” Honolulu, HI: Hawaii Department of Health. 2013. Available from URL:

3 Dan Galanis, Phd, Emergency Medical Services & Injury Prevention System Branch.