Fort Wayne, Ind. – Monday, Nov. 21, 2011 — With the holiday season approaching, Parkview Hospital and the Allen County Child Fatality Review Team are raising awareness about the importance of creating a safe sleep environment for infants at home and when traveling. Unsafe sleep remains the number one killer of children under the age of one in Allen County.
Tips to promote safe sleep for infants:
*The best way for a baby to sleep is on their back in a crib free of fabrics and objects that can block a baby’s mouth and nose
*A baby should sleep alone on a firm mattress in a safety approved crib or pack and play-type crib. A baby should not sleep in an adult bed with parents or caregivers.
*Sleep sacks keep a baby warm and comfortable and eliminate the presence of loose fabric around a child’s face
*Offer a pacifier at nap time and bedtime
*Avoid covering an infant’s head or overheating
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently expanded guidelines for infant sleep safety and SIDS risk reduction.
The expanded recommendations from the AAP include:
*Bumper pads should not be used in cribs. There is no evidence that bumper pads prevent injuries, and there is a potential risk of suffocation, strangulation or entrapment.
*Breastfeeding is recommended and is associated with a reduced risk of SIDS
*Infants should be immunized. Evidence suggests that immunization reduces the risk of SIDS by 50 percent.
In an effort to encourage safe sleep practices, in partnership with the Indiana First Candle program, Parkview is a distributor of safe and portable cribs. Potential recipients are evaluated for need and required to complete an educational course. Parents or expectant parents interested in learning more about the program may call (260) 373-6900.
Over the past two years, more than 1,500 safety-approved cribs have been given to area families in need of a crib.