Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Syndrome (SUIDS) is the leading cause of death among infants between 1 month and 1 year of age, impacting about 3,500 babies and families each year. Parkwest Medical Center, a gold-certified national safe sleep champion facility, shares these best practices for new parents and caregivers to reduce the risk of SUIDS:
- Always place a baby on his or her back for naps and sleeping at night to reduce the
risk of SUIDS.
- Use a firm sleep surface, covered by a fitted sheet. A crib, bassinet, portable crib or play yard that conforms to the safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is recommended.
- Your baby should not sleep in an adult bed, on a couch or on a chair alone, with you or with anyone else.
- During your baby’s first year, keep your baby’s sleep area in the same room where you sleep.
- Share the same room, but not the same bed. Always place the baby in a safety-approved crib,
bassinet or portable crib for sleep.
- Sitting devices like bouncy seats, swings, infant carriers or strollers should not be used for routine sleep.
- Keep soft objects such as pillows and blankets, toys and bumpers out of your baby’s sleep area.
- Wedges and positioners should not be used.
- Do not smoke during pregnancy or allow smoking around your baby.
- Do not let your baby get too hot during sleep.
- Breastfeeding your baby is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
- After breastfeeding is established, give your baby a dry pacifier (not attached to a string) for naps and at night to reduce the risk of SUIDS.
- Supervised skin-to-skin contact is recommended for all mothers and infants immediately following birth and at least for an hour, regardless of feeding or type of delivery.
- Follow your healthcare provider’s guidance on your baby’s vaccines and regular health checkups.
A Certified Safe Sleep Center
“The Childbirth Center staff at Parkwest Medical Center is dedicated to the safety of our new moms and our newborns,” explains nurse manager, Holly Woodlee. “The staff demonstrates safe sleep practices to families and reinforces these techniques with new parents before they go home.”
Families are given a children’s book about safe sleep techniques and a sleep sack to take home.
“The sleep sacks are great, because they’re a wearable blanket that replaces loose blankets in the crib that can cover a baby’s face and interfere with their breathing,” explains Woodlee. A safe sleep surface can also be provided to families who cannot afford one thanks to Cribs for Kids®, a national organization which partners locally with Parkwest.
For additional information and education on safe sleep please visit SafeSleepAcademy.org, where you can find information on safe sleep, a safe and healthy home for your infant, important
growth milestones and other resources.
A Generous Donation with a Tiny Inspiration
MAW’s Cause was founded by Brittanie and Ben Weaver after the death of their 4-month-old son, Mason Archer Weaver, in May 2017. Mason was at day care when he fell asleep for a nap and never woke up. It was a tragic death that unfortunately happens to more than 3,000 infants and 400 children under the age of 2 each year. The prime age for SUIDS is between 2-4 months, but it can occur anytime during the child’s first year.
SUIDS, once known as “crib death,” has been around for decades. It was often believed to be caused by unsafe sleep habits and suffocation when babies slept on their stomachs. In the 1980s the “Back To Sleep” campaign launched nationally to help educate parents about safe sleep practices. SUIDS incidences decreased by 50 percent over the next decade, but have been on the rise again in the last few years. Today, medical experts believe there could be various causes of sudden death, including unsafe sleep practices and unknown medical issues.
MAW’s Cause recently donated a supply of infant sleep sacks to be given to all babies born at Parkwest Medical Center.