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Ohio's Infant Safe Sleep Law

Per ORC 3701.66 and 3701.67 as enacted by Ohio Am. Sub. S.B. 276 of the 130th General Assembly, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) was required to develop:

Effective May 18, 2015, the law also establishes the Safe Sleep Education Program and specifies the following entities distribute infant safe sleep education materials:

  • Child birth educators and the staff of obstetricians' offices, to an expectant parent who uses their services;
  • Staff of pediatric physicians' offices, to an infant's parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the infant, any of whom uses their services;
  • Staff of freestanding birthing centers and certain hospitals, to the infant's parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the infant, before the infant is discharged from the facility;
  • Staff of the existing Help Me Grow program, to an infant's parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the infant during home-visiting services;
  • Each child care facility operating in Ohio, to each of its employees;
  • Public children services agency, when the agency has initial contact with an infant's parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the infant.

The law further specifies that facilities and locations that must participate in the Safe Sleep Education Program and regularly have infants sleeping at them adopt an internal infant safe sleep policy.

Hospitals

ORC 3701.67 establishes an infant safe sleep screening procedure for hospitals and birthing centers. Hospitals are required to screen new parents and caregivers prior to the infants discharge home to determine if the infant has a safe sleep environment at their residence. If the infant is determined not to have a safe sleep environment, the hospital may do any of the four following activities:

  • Obtain a safe crib with its own resources;
  • Collaborate with or obtain assistance from persons or government entities that are able to procure a safe crib or provide money to purchase a safe crib;
  • Refer the parent, guardian, or other person to a person or government entity described above to obtain a safe crib free of charge from that source;
  • If funds are available for the Cribs for Kids Program or a successor program, refer the parent, guardian, or other person to a program site designated by ODH at which a safe crib may be obtained at no charge. (The Cribs for Kids Program, administered by ODH, distributes cribs and infant safe sleep education materials through local and regional health departments to families who meet income eligibility requirements for the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program.)

Hospitals may also refer to non-ODH supported Cribs for Kids Programs by finding their local partner at http://www.cribsforkids.org/find-a-chapter/. Hospitals and birthing centers are required to report infant safe sleep data to ODH. Facilities with access to the State’s vital statistics records system (IPHIS), must report the data in IPHIS and facilities without IPHIS access should report it using the annual aggregate reporting form (see below for details).

Additional details are available from the Final Analysis from the Legislative Service Commission – http://www.lsc.ohio.gov/analyses130/14-sb276-130.pdf

Please contact SafeSleep@odh.ohio.gov with any questions. Educational materials are available for order according to the instructions on the Partners and Resources page.

 
Data Collection

In support of ORC 3701.67, a new “Crib” tab was launched on January 1, 2017 in the State’s vital records system (IPHIS) to capture safe sleep screening data. The Ohio Department of Health has provided training for facilities on entering data into the new tab and is providing a recorded presentation, reporting manual, and FAQ document for additional guidance.

 

Children’s Hospitals

 

Children’s Hospitals that do not have access to IPHIS are required to report annual aggregate safe sleep screening data by the first Monday in February of each year. The Annual Aggregate Safe Sleep Reporting Form should be submitted using the “Submit” button that is embedded at the top of the form, or by emailing the form to safesleep@odh.ohio.gov.


Page Updated: 2/2/2017