During Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month in October, Woman’s Hospital is reminding caregivers of the importance of following safe sleep recommendations for infants. SIDS is a sudden and silent medical disorder that typically occurs while a baby is asleep and is the leading cause of death among babies between one month and one year of age.
“Approximately 100 infants die of SIDS every year in Louisiana, and almost all of these deaths are preventable,” said Dana Vidrine, director of Mother/Baby, Lactation and Transition for Woman’s Hospital. “Knowing the steps to safe sleep is one of the best ways to prevent sleep-related deaths in infants”
According to the National Institute of Health, most SIDS deaths happen in babies between one month and four months of age, and the majority (90%) of SIDS deaths happen before a baby reaches six months of age. The baby's sleep environment can influence sleep-related causes of death.
“Learning about safe sleep guidelines is important not only for parents but for all caregivers who might spend time with a baby,” added Vidrine.
As the state’s largest birthing hospital, Woman’s has partnered with the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) to develop and implement initiatives to promote safe sleep practices among our patients and in the community. LDH has named Woman's Hospital a Safe Sleep Champion for its efforts aimed at reducing the rate of SIDS.
Woman’s Hospital has created a Safe Sleep Task Force to bring attention to this issue and to provide education to staff, patients, and the community. The LSU Health OB-GYN clinic on the Woman’s campus has also incorporated education on safe sleep for their patients as part of this work.
Recently, Woman’s was approved for a $2,600 grant from Entergy to fund Pack ‘n Play portable cribs for patients who need assistance with a safe environment for their baby to sleep.
There are many resources available to help caregivers create a safe sleep environment for babies, but a simple way to remember the basics is ABC:
-On My Back
-In a Crib
For more information, or to view the full safe sleep checklist, visit giveyourbabyspace.org.