From Vernon Parish Coroner Staff Reports
October is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month. A safe sleep environment
can help reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death, like suffocation.
The Vernon Parish Coroner’s Office has teamed up with Southwest Louisiana Safe Sleep
Taskforce and the Cribs for Kids Nationwide Program. Our mission is to prevent infant sleep-
related deaths by educating parents and caregivers on the importance of practicing safe sleep
for their babies and by providing portable cribs to families who, otherwise, cannot afford a safe
place for their babies to sleep. Our office has made a commitment to reducing infants’ deaths
due to unsafe sleep practices by offering this 1-hour class several times a year. In addition to
these classes, we offer one-on-one sleep education on request, when necessary, in order to
ensure our community babies are sleeping safely. We have been offering these classes since
2018 and we have seen a significant drop in infant deaths in our area. This program operates by
donation only, and we have been fortunate enough to have our community step up and assist us
in raising awareness and providing prevention.
After suffering the tragic death of their grandson Brentley Rowe in 2017, Daniel and Suzanne
Rowe have focused their grief into helping us raise the funds necessary for these Graco Pack-N-
Play cribs, Northwestern State University (Fort Johnson Campus) has provided us classrooms
and allowed us to use their facilities for this community mission. If you would like to assist us in
this endeavor, please reach out to our office at 337-392-2349. Please spread the word and
come join us for our next Safe Sleep class on Friday, November 17, 2023, to educate new and
expecting mothers on the importance of a safe sleep environment to reduce the risk of SIDS
and other sleep-related deaths. We also encourage dads, grandparents, nurses, and caregivers
to attend as well!