Do you know the ABCs of Safe Sleep for Babies? Local health care organizations urge understanding sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) during awareness month.

Unsafe sleep is a leading cause of death for children one year old and younger. These deaths often happen during sleep or in the baby’s sleep area. Sudden unexpected deaths include SIDS, accidental suffocation in a sleeping environment and other deaths from unknown causes.

Hospitals and community groups are putting forth efforts to raise awareness and educate parents in the metro-east to ensure safe sleep for infants.

HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Women and Infants Center received a donation of “Sleep Baby, Safe and Snug” books from SIHF Healthcare Healthy Start and HEALTHIER TOGETHER. These educational books have been given to each mom delivering at St. Elizabeth’s during October.

“While St. Elizabeth’s Women and Infants Center always educates new mothers about the risk factors associated with infant mortality, we appreciate the added support of community groups to further stress the importance of safe sleep environments and share important education and resources with our mothers and families to improve outcomes,” said Deb Meidel, RN, BSN, nurse manager of St. Elizabeth’s Women and Infants Center.

St. Elizabeth’s is recognized by the National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program, created by Cribs for Kids, as a Bronze Safe Sleep Hospital. The hospital also provides a safe sleep swaddler for every delivered baby thanks to a grant from HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Foundation.

SIHF Healthcare Healthy Start addresses infant mortality reduction through education and promotion of safe sleep practices, improving access to quality health care for women and their infants, and the promotion of optimal health for women before, during and after pregnancy. HEALTHIER TOGETHER, a community-based movement aimed at transforming the health of residents in St. Clair County and metro-east, also participates with many organizations who make up the Maternal and Child Health partnership to promote their ABCs of Safe Sleep initiative.

What are the ABCs of Safe Sleep? The answer is Alone, on their Backs, in a Safe Crib.

  • Babies should always sleep alone. If moms are breastfeeding, soothe the baby back to sleep while standing and return to crib when they are asleep.
  • Always place babies on their back to sleep.
  • A baby should sleep in a crib with a firm mattress covered by a tightly fitted sheet. Babies can die while sleeping in adult beds, couches, pillows, blankets and other soft surfaces as well as in car seats, bouncy seats and infant swings. It is also important to keep stuffed animals, crib bumpers and other items out of the crib.

Parents, grandparents, babysitters and anyone else involved with the care of an infant are encouraged to be educated on the risks and safe sleep habits by visiting https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/sids/conditioninfo/reduce.

Media Contact

Kelly Barbeau

Manager, Marketing & Communications
HSHS Illinois
Office: (618) 234-2120, Ext. 41270
kelly.barbaeu@hshs.org

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