Hospital to distribute onesies and educational materials to parents of newborns and infants in an effort to improve their safety while asleep.
Lincolnton–Carolinas Medical Center (CMC)-Lincoln has partnered with the North Carolina Healthy Start Foundation (NCHSF) to provide new parents with onesies, nightlights and checklists containing infant-safe sleep and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) risk reduction messages during October, in honor of SIDS Awareness Month.
“We are thrilled that new parents will leave CMC-Lincoln with the most current information to help their babies sleep safely once they get home,” said Dale Acker, RN, Director of New Beginnings for CMC-Lincoln. “The materials not only reinforce the infant safe sleep and SIDS risk reduction messages we verbally share with parents, but it also gives them tools to educate others who may care for their baby."
The front side of the onesies will display the message, “This side up when sleeping” in English and Spanish to indicate that parents should place their infant on his or her back. Nightlights include the “ABC’s” of safe sleep practices for infants: “babies sleep safest Alone, on their Backs, in a Crib.” Also included are checklists written for parents to ensure that they are aware of all the necessary steps required to help keep their baby safe while sleeping.
SIDS is one of the leading causes of infant death in North Carolina, accounting for 53 deaths in children under age one in North Carolina. In addition to dying as a result of SIDS, many babies die from accidental suffocation, asphyxiation or entrapment while sleeping. These preventable deaths are often related to babies being placed in unsafe sleep environments, with excess bedding or toys or from parents sharing a bed with their babies.
Since 2007, NCSHF has been collaborating with hospitals across the state to distribute educational materials during SIDS Awareness month. The hospital initiative has provided resources to more than 53 hospitals to evaluate and support hospitals’ policy, practice and education regarding infant safe sleep. This year, more than babies are expected to leave hospitals with the infant safe sleep materials.
In October 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a revised policy for infant safe sleep which made updated recommendations, including:
- Breastfeed, if possible. Breastfeeding is associated with a reduced risk of SIDS.
- Get immunized. Recent studies suggest that proper immunization reduces the risk of SIDS by 50 percent.
- No crib bumper pads. Bumper pads increase a baby’s risk of suffocation, strangulation or entrapment and there is no evidence that they prevent injuries.
- Keep babies at a comfortable temperature. AAP no longer provides specific temperature guidelines. To avoid overheating, a risk factor for SIDS, infants should be dressed in no more than one additional layer than would be comfortable for an adult.
For more information about baby’s safe sleep visit www.NCHealthyStart.org or call 919-828-1819.