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 Central Ohio Hospitals Safe Sleep Initiative
  
In Franklin County in 2013, 145 babies died before reaching their first birthday, with 23 of those deaths (or 1 in every 6.3) being sleep related.  To reduce infant mortality in our community, it is vital that parents understand how to create a safe sleeping environment for their babies.

Infant deaths caused by unsafe sleeping practices are preventable.

Last year, COHC-member hospitals developed and adopted “Community Standards on Safe Sleep Environments.” The standards are designed to help ensure that central Ohio maternity units consistently follow safe sleeping practices for newborns, and that they teach parents about safe sleep practices for their child at home.

It is crucial for parents, health care professionals, staff in neonatal care settings, and child care providers to be educated on the recommended ways to reduce sleep-related deaths. The following recommendations are offered by the American Academy of Pediatrics:

  • Always remember the ABC's of safe sleep: "Alone on my Back in my Crib."
  • The baby can sleep in the same room as the parents, but not in the same bed (room-sharing without bed-sharing).
  • Always use a firm sleep surface. Car seats and other sitting devices are not recommended for routine sleep.
  • 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.
  • Keep soft objects or loose bedding out of the crib. This includes pillows and blankets.
 
  • Wedges and positioners should not be used.
  • Offer a pacifier at nap time and bedtime.
  • Avoid covering the infant's head or overheating.
  • Supervised, awake tummy time is recommended daily to facilitate development and minimize the occurrence of positional plagiocephaly (flat heads).
To learn more about safe sleep environments, view the National Institutes of Health flyer.  Healthcare providers are encouraged to reproduce this flyer and distribute to patients.



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