With approximately 3,600 sleep-related deaths among U.S. babies each year, Safe Sleep Awareness Month is celebrated each October to advance advocacy, protection and promotion of evidence-based safe-sleep practices to ensure that all babies are sleeping safely.

SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is the sudden, unexplained death of an infant younger than one year of age. SUID or Sudden Unexplained Infant Death is often associated with preventable unsafe infant sleep practices and environments.

SIDS and sleep-related deaths, such as accidental suffocation are the leading causes of death in babies one to 12 months of age. Each week in Ohio, three babies die in unsafe sleep environments.

In a follow-up to last weeks article, we would like to reiterate the importance of following recommendations for infant safe sleep to keep your baby safe:

ABC’s of Infant Safe Sleep:

A = Alone

Share the room, but not the bed. Always place your baby alone in a crib, bassinet or play yard with a firm mattress. The safest place for your baby to sleep is in your room (within arm’s reach), but not in your bed. Never nap on a couch or chair while holding your baby and don’t lay baby down on adult beds, couches or chairs. Two out of three babies who die while sleeping are sharing an adult bed, couch or chair.

B = Back

Back is best for baby. Always put your baby to sleep on his/her back during naps and at bed time. Healthy babies naturally swallow or cough up their spit up, so your baby will not choke if they are sleeping on their back.

C = Crib

Bare is best. Many parents believe their baby won’t be safe and warm without bumper pads, pillows and stuffed animals, but these items can be deadly. Babies can suffocate on any extra items in the crib. Place your baby to sleep in a safety-approved crib with a firm mattress covered by a fitted sheet.

With funding made available from The Ohio Department of Health and in partnership with the Cribs for Kids program, the Hocking County Health Department is able to educate parents and caregivers on the importance of practicing safe sleep for infants, and provide free portable cribs to families who, otherwise, cannot afford a safe place for their babies to sleep.

Guidelines for receiving a portable crib are: resident of Hocking county, at least 32 weeks pregnant or the parent/custodian of an infant under 12 months.

For more information on Infant Safe Sleep recommendations or the Cribs For Kids Program, contact Christinia Kemper, RN at the Hocking County Health Department. 740-385-3030 ext. 241 or ckemperhchd@gmail.com.

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