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Family Stories 

Sadly, every week in Ohio, 3 babies die in unsafe sleep environments and each of these babies has a story.

Unfortunately, many people think losing a child won’t happen to them. Or maybe they are given bad advice by a friend, family member or even health care provider. There are many stories of good parents who were simply exhausted, didn’t know the risks of sharing a bed, or didn’t think it could happen to them who have lost their babies.

The following brave parents have stepped forward to share their stories after experiencing their worst nightmare, in hopes that they can help prevent more tragedies to families in the future.

Lisa West worked tirelessly to pass legislation in Pennsylvania to require parents be informed of the dangers of sharing a sleep surface with their babies before leaving the hospital. Read Lisa's own words about her son Dayton.

Dr. Sam Hanke and his wife Maura lost their son Charlie to SIDS in 2010. In his memory, they started Charlie’s Kids foundation with the mission to education families about the importance of safe sleep and SIDS.  They have partnered with pediatrician Dr. John Hutton and developed a children’s board book “Sleep Baby Safe and Snug” which is available for hospitals,  health departments and community organizations at a deeply discounted rate.  Please click here to learn more about their book and Charlie’s story.

If you'd like to share your story, please contact the Ohio Department of Health at

Have you or do you know someone who has lost a child? Help in grieving and remembering your child is available. Contact the Baby 1st Network at 1-800-477-7437 or

There is no proven safe way to share a bed with your baby, do don't take the chance! Follow the ABCs of Safe Sleep. Every baby, every sleep.

Page Updated: 7/31/2017