The Dane County Safe Sleep Initiative held its second year of "Safe Sleep Sabbath" educational events at local predominantly black churches Sunday, hoping to stem the tide of co-sleeping deaths in the community.

African-Americans make up a disproportionate number of co-sleeping deaths in Dane County. According to statistics from the Safe Sleep Initiative, nearly half (11 of 24) of all co-sleeping deaths over the past five years involved black children.

Carola Gaines, with the Safe Sleep Initiative said church is an ideal location for outreach due to its importance in the African-American community.

"This is a foundation for African-Americans and where we gather and where we fellowship," Gaines said. "The more we get the message out, the more it will become a habit."

To learn more about how to prevent sleep-related deaths among babies and what a safe sleep environment looks like, visit the National Institute of Health's "Safe to Sleep" campaign website.