Baby Safe Sleep Initiative

October 16, 2019 -Springfield- Creating a safe sleep environment for infants is the focus of a new community initiative headed by Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni and Baystate Health.

Hampden District Attorney Anthony D. Gulluni stated, “Massachusetts State Police Detectives assigned to my office have the very difficult job of investigating infant deaths throughout the county. Many of these deaths are avoidable if a baby is kept safe while he or she sleeps.”

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the 2017 mortality rate for sudden unexpected infant death syndrome (SUIDS), was 93.4 deaths per 100,000 live births. This includes accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed.

“We don’t know for certain what causes SIDS. Evidence suggests brain abnormalities may be to blame along with other factors that often combine to put an infant at risk,” said pediatrician Dr. Andrew Balder, medical director, Baystate Mason Square Neighborhood Health Center. “To help create a safe sleep environment and reduce the risk of SIDS, place your infant in the proper sleep positon and only allow appropriate items in the crib.”

A video showing the proper way to put an infant to sleep has been co-produced by the Hampden District Attorney’s Office and Baystate Health. The video will be shown to all new parents prior to bringing their new baby home from Baystate. Link to Safe Sleep Video

The Hampden District Attorney’s Community Outreach Unit will partner with Baystate Health and grassroots community organizations. They will seek to educate new parents and their families on creating a safe sleep environment for infants.

“We recommend keeping baby in your bedroom at night. Do not share a bed with an infant. Room sharing will make it easier for you to feed, comfort, and watch your baby. It can reduce the risk of SIDS by 50%.” said Emily Osborne, LCCE, CLC, lead parent educator, Baystate’s New Beginnings/Parent Education.

Safe Sleep Tips

  • Always put infants to sleep on their backs.
  • Not considered safe for sleep: car seats, loungers, and inclined baby seats.
  • Keep your baby in your bedroom at night. Do not share a bed with an infant.
  •  Use infant sleep clothing such as a wearable blanket.         
  •  Keep the crib free of fluffy blankets, pillows, bumpers, and stuffed animals.

For more information on creating a safe sleep environment please visit:  baystatehealth.org/safe-sleep

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