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11/21/14blog post

three babies die every week in Ohio from...

Did you know that in Southwest Ohio, one baby dies every six weeks from SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome? On top of that, three babies die EVERY WEEK in Ohio due to unsafe sleep practices! While we still do not know what causes SIDS and how to prevent it, we do know how to prevent deaths related to unsafe sleep. Right now, Ohio ranks 47 out of 50 states for infant mortality. This is not acceptable! Together we can help make a difference in helping our babies reach their first birthday and live a happy and healthy life!

What is Dayton Children’s Hospital doing about it?

We are part of an Ohio Academy of Pediatrics Collaborative project. The goal of this project is for the hospital and its staff to model safe sleep practices. As parents who stay with infants in the hospital see what a safe sleep environment looks like, they will teach families, friends and caregivers. This initiative is led by a team that includes physicians, pediatric nurse practitioners and nurses so that all members of the healthcare team are involved with modeling a safe sleep environment.

What is a safe sleep environment?

There is an easy way to remember this: ABC.

A = Alone

B = Back

C = Crib

Unless there is a medical reason and you have been told by your child’s doctor, he or she should sleep alone in his/her bare crib and be placed on the back. This means NO stuffed animals, bumper pads, pillows, or loose blankets. Having a safe sleep environment is important from birth until your baby is one year old. It is also important to be sure that other people who care for your child follow these safe sleep rules (grandparents, babysitters, etc.).

For those of you, like myself, who are convinced that your baby will get cold at night, layering with onesies, socks or slippers works well. In addition, there is something called a sleep sack that is a wearable blanket. The sleep sack replaces blankets but not the sleeper, so you should dress your baby in a sleeper underneath the sleep sack. I just saw one recently and wish I had one when my kids were babies.

Be aware that advertisements for cribs and displays at stores often are not set up to show you a safe sleep environment. Bumper pads and comforters are NOT safe.

Babies are at highest risk to die from a sleep-related death in the first 6 months of life

What increases the risk of sleep-related deaths in infants?

  • Sleeping in bed with adults, children or pets
  • Sleeping on stomach
  • Sleeping with or on top of loose blankets
  • Sleeping on soft surfaces like adult mattresses, sofas, recliners, pillows
  • Being exposed to cigarette smoke

What decreases the risk of SIDS?

  • Following the ABCs of safe sleep
  • Breastfeeding
  • Pacifiers
  • Immunizations for babies

Resources on safe sleep:

http://www.nichd.nih.gov/sts/Pages/default.aspx

http://www.odh.ohio.gov/safesleep/

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