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Leesburg Regional Medical Center Partners with National Safe Sleep Initiative

Quality Care | Thursday, November 2, 2017

Contact: Andrea Sellers

Leesburg Regional Medical Center (LRMC) is proud to announce its partnership with Cribs for Kids® National Infant Safe Sleep Initiative to promote infant safe sleep practices for all new parents in Lake County.

Research indicates the vast majority of infant deaths is accidental and due to babies sleeping in unsafe sleeping environments. Nearly three-fourths are attributed to bed sharing. LRMC wants to teach parents and caregivers that the safest way for a baby to sleep is alone, on his or her back, in a bare, safety-approved crib. In addition to education tools, in some areas qualifying families will receive Pack 'n Play® portable cribs if they cannot, otherwise, afford safe sleeping environments for their infants.

"Over 3,500 infants die each year due to sleep-related deaths," said Stacy Lucas-Austin from the Maternal Child Health Department at LRMC. "Educating new parents is a critical tool in preventing such tragedies. Our partnership with Cribs for Kids® exemplifies the dedication our staff has to even the newest members of this community."

Cribs for Kids®, headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, is a national infant safe-sleep education program that helps to reduce the risk of injury or death of infants due to accidental suffocation, asphyxia, or undetermined causes in unsafe sleeping environments. Since 1998, Cribs for Kids® has been making an impact on reducing the rate of infant sleep-related deaths by educating parents and caregivers on the importance of practicing safe sleep for their babies and by providing portable cribs to families who, otherwise, cannot afford a safe place for their babies to sleep.

"Safe sleep practices start in the hospital, so ensuring nurses are modeling safe sleep guidelines for parents has been a focus," continued Stacy Lucas-Austin. "Our hope is to help each new family establish a strong foundation of safe sleep guidelines they will in turn practice when at home. We are also making every effort to education members of our community to help reduce infant sleep-related deaths."

To further reduce the risk of sleep-related deaths, the American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends:

  • A firm mattress, closely fitted to the sides of the crib, and a tight-fitting sheet
  • Wearable blankets in place of loose bedding
  • Removal of all pillows, blankets, bumpers and toys from the crib
  • Never let baby sleep, with or without someone, on a couch, or in a bed or chair
  • Maintain a smoke-free home
  • Breastfeed, which has important health benefits, but returning baby to the crib when finished
  • Keeping baby's sleep area in the same room as mom and dad, but NOT in the same bed

Risks of Sharing a Bed with Baby

The risks of an infant sleeping in an adult bed or bed-sharing include:

  • Suffocation in soft bedding (pillows, thick quilts and comforters)
  • Suffocation from an adult, pet, or another child laying on baby
  • Entrapment between the bed and wall
  • Entrapment involving the bed frame, headboard or footboard
  • Falls from the bed onto floor or in piles of clothing, plastic bags or other soft materials, resulting in suffocation

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