RENO — By creating a safe sleep environment for an infant, you can also lower the incidents of sleep — related deaths and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The greatest numbers of child deaths due to unsafe sleep situations occur among infants less than one year of age. The statewide Child Death Report states 93 percent of asphyxia deaths in 2010 were caused by unsafe sleeping environments due to excessive bedding, wedging, or adults or children sharing a bed with infants, which can result in rolling over or onto the baby and causing suffocation (overlay).
To help combat this alarming trend, Cribs for Kids, a program of Safe Kids Washoe County, has been educating community based-organizations and other health care agencies throughout Nevada to unify the message on infant safe sleep practices.
In the past 19 months, Regina Washington, Safe Kids Washoe County Community Program Coordinator, has traveled more than 15,000 miles throughout Nevada to promote safe sleep education messaging to lower the incidence rate of sleep-related deaths and SIDS.
The following are guidelines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics to help infants safely sleep:
Always place your baby on his or her back for every sleep time.
Always use a firm sleep surface. Car seats and other sitting devices are not recommended for routine sleep.
The baby should sleep in the same room as the parents, but not in the same bed (room-sharing without bed-sharing).
Keep soft objects or loose bedding out of the crib. This includes pillows, blankets, and bumper pads.
Wedges and positioners should not be used.
Pregnant woman should receive regular prenatal care.
Don’t smoke during pregnancy or after birth.
Breastfeeding is recommended.
Offer a pacifier at nap time and bedtime.
Avoid covering the infant’s head or overheating.
Do not use home monitors or commercial devices marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS.
Infants should receive all recommended vaccinations.
Supervised, awake tummy time is recommended daily to facilitate development and minimize the occurrence of positional plagiocephaly (flat heads).
For additional information, contact Cribs for Kids community partners in your community:
Nye Communities Coalition, 727-9970 or Tonopah Volunteer Ambulance Service, 775-910-9392.