Sleep-related deaths are the leading cause of death in babies between 1 and 12 months of age. In Ohio, three babies die from sleep-related deaths every week and of the 10 most populous states, Ohio has the highest infant mortality rate.
Tonya Johannemann MSN, RN, NE-BC, Director of Perinatal Services for Good Samaritan Hospital, offers life-saving tips to lower the risk of Sudden Infant Dealth Syndrome (SIDS):
9 Sleep Safety Tips:
#1. Infants should always be placed on their backs for every sleep and nap.
#2. Babies should sleep in their own cribs or bassinets that are within reach of your bed. Bed-sharing during sleep is not recommended.
#3. Use a firm sleep surface. A firm crib mattress, covered by a sheet, is the recommended sleeping surface.
#4. Keep soft objects and loose bedding out of the crib. Pillows, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, crib bumpers, stuffed toys and other soft objects should be kept out of an infant's sleeping environment.
#5. If a blanket is used to keep the baby warm, it should be a thin blanket that only covers the baby to the height of the chest. The blanket should be kept below the level of the baby’s arms and tucked into the sides and bottom of the crib mattress to keep it secure.
#6. Consider offering a pacifier at nap time and bedtime after your baby is 1 month old. The pacifier should be used when placing the infant down for sleep or a nap and not be reinserted once the infant falls asleep.
#7. Avoid overheating. The infant should be lightly clothed for sleep, and the bedroom temperature should be kept at what would be considered comfortable for a lightly clothed adult.
#8. Avoid commercial devices marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS. Although various devices have been developed to maintain sleep position or reduce the risk of aspiration, none have been tested sufficiently to show efficacy or safety.
#9. Assure that others caring for the infant (child care provider, grandparent or other relative, friend, and babysitter) are aware of these recommendations.
Another Tip: Keep Your Baby Away From Second-Hand Smoke
Keep your baby away from second-hand smoke. Smoke increases an infants risk of SIDS as well as other health problems.
The Bottom Line: Model the Right Behavior
“Our parents are more likely to model actions and behaviors demonstrated by health care providers rather than verbal instructions according to the latest data, so it is imperative that we, as hospitals, model the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to the parents and those that will be helping to provide care for infants at home."
TriHealth is actively engaged in the development of a Safe Sleep Program following the safe sleep practices endorsed by the AAP.