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Ohio Looking To Reduce State's Infant Mortality Rate

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSPD) -- Three babies die each week in Ohio while sleeping and most of those deaths are preventable.

Charlie Paul Hanke was only three weeks old when he died in his sleep. He had fallen asleep on his father's chest while they laid on a couch. Samuel Hanke woke up, but Charlie didn't. The Hankes decided to launch a foundation, Charlie's Kids, to make sure other parents didn't have to go through their pain.

"There is nothing that can take away our paint, but trying to prevent other families from suffering the same nightmare offers some sense of purpose as we move forward in our grief," said Samuel Hanke.

The Ohio Dept. of Health announced a partnership with Charlie's Kids that will see 25,000 copies of a children's book on safe sleep distributed to new parents. The book, titled "Sleep Baby Safe and Snug," is published by the foundation.

"We want you to know that your baby is safest on her back, alone, in the crib," said Maura Hanke.

The state has been trying to address the SIDS issue, which is the leading cause of deaths for infants under a year old. Ohio has one of the worst infant mortality rates in the nation, ranked 47th in 2010.

 

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