A new entry in this year’s Dunwoody 4th of July Parade is a local nonprofit with a powerful message. Charlie’s Army is on a mission to provide safe sleep tools and education to new families and caregivers. There are more than 3,500 sleep-related losses each year. Information is key to prevention.
Charlie’s Army is named in honor and memory of Charlie Cronmiller. His parents, Stephanie and Eric, started the nonprofit to help save others from the devastating pain of losing their son in 2021. Charlie was their only child, and he was only four months old when he died at an in-home daycare after the daycare owner placed him face down for a nap, against recommended medical guidelines for infant sleep positions. He was left in distress and unattended for more than two hours prior to being found unresponsive. A police investigation and criminal charges followed.
In under one year of operation, Charlie’s Army has raised nearly $200K and has made their initial financial donations to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Strong4Life Safe Sleep Program. In addition Charlie’s Army Foundation has donated Sleep Sack and Safe Sleep information bundles to Harbin Clinic of Pediatrics and Northside Hospital’s Mothers First program where they are distributed to new families and their support systems. This empowers caregivers to make safe choices for infants in new sleep environments at home, with a relative, or while at daycare as sleep sacks replace the need for blankets, which can cover the face and cause difficulty breathing. Remember the ABC’s of Safe Sleep: babies should go to sleep Alone on their Back in a space Clear of loose bedding, bumpers and toys.
Cheer on Charlie’s Army during the parade and consider making a donation here: https://charliesarmy.org/
To learn more about Charlie’s Army Foundation and safe sleep practices follow @charliesarmyfoundation on Instagram and Facebook.