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Safe Infant Sleep Safety Efforts

Memorial Hospital Recognized for Safe Infant Sleep Safety Efforts

Memorial Hospital has been recognized as a Certified Safe Sleep Leader by a new national program that awards hospitals for promoting the education of new parents and the public about how to prevent sleep-related deaths due to accidental suffocation.

“More than 3,500 children in the United States die from sleep-related deaths each year,” says Lindsay Partee, RN, BSN, C-EFM, Director of Obstetrics at Memorial Hospital. “We provide important information for our new parents to help them understand that they should always put their baby to sleep on their back, that a baby should sleep alone in their crib on a firm mattress, and that loose blankets, pillows, or stuffed animals should never be in the crib with them.”

In addition to giving educational materials to new parents, hospital nurses regularly audit baby sleep conditions in the obstetrics unit, and immediately discuss any issues of concern with the new parents. Common safety issues may involve a new mother falling asleep with her baby in the same bed, the placing of toys in the bassinet, and improper swaddling – which can pose a suffocation hazard.

The requirements for the national certification focus on the development of a safe sleep policy statement, training of staff, and parent education. The new National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program was launched by Cribs for Kids ®, a Pittsburgh-based organization. The program is in partnership with leading infant health and safety organizations including the National Center for the Review & Prevention of Child Deaths, the Association of SIDS and Infant Mortality Programs, Kids in Danger, the Children’s Safety Network, the American SIDS Institute, Charlie’s Kids, and numerous state American Academy of Pediatric chapters and health departments. For more information, visit www.cribsforkids.org/hospitalcertification.