Healthy Start Using Grant Money to Help Curb Infant Deaths

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PANAMA CITY- Healthy Start of Bay, Franklin, and Gulf Counties continues to spread the message that unsafe sleeping practices can be deadly for infants.

"Every year we are contracted with the state to view fetal and infant deaths. so how I've envisioned that, half a kindergarten class has passed away due to unsafe sleeping environment," said Kelly Bryns-Davis, Healthy Start Coordinator.

Davis says unsafe sleeping environments caused nine deaths in bay county.

To help with their mission, bay health foundation trustees donated 25-thousand dollars to the organization at a recipient luncheon last Thursday.

Healthy Start is one of 9 agencies to receive grant money after applying for it in October.

"I feel we serve the most vulnerable community members as infants and children and they just put a grant proposal out there and i just happen to be one of the ones that applied and we were lucky enough to receive funds that provide those services," said Sharon Owens, healthy start executive director.

Organizers bought car seats and cribs because they're safe and portable.

"If you ever put together a pack and play, it's kind of difficult. if you've ever installed a car seat, it's also kind of difficult. so we'll be distributing those along with the educational materials throughout the calendar year," said Owens.

Healthy start will be hosting "the world's greatest baby shower" on April 3rd at the First United Methodist Church at 4 p.m. to share more information about crib safety.