September is Infant Safe Sleep Month in Michigan, which was declared to help stop the growing tide of infant deaths caused by unsafe sleeping environments. Infant Safe Sleep Month provides an opportunity to remind professionals, institutions and families of the importance of safe sleep practices. Tomorrow’s Child offers the following recommendations to protect infants:
- Babies should always be placed on their backs to sleep.
- Never put the baby to sleep with adults or other children.
- Put babies in cribs of their own, never on adult beds, pillows or couches.
- Use a firm mattress with a tightly fitted sheet.
- Ensure that the crib does not contain extraneous items including pillows, crib bumpers and stuffed animals – and use a safe sleep sack instead of blankets.
- Do not overheat the baby’s room.
- Make certain that no one smokes around baby.
The Michigan Department of Human Services has a variety of resources available on the risk factors that can compromise the safety of infants while they sleep and recommendations on how to keep infants safe. Additionally, the Tomorrow’s Child Infant Safe Sleep Checklist offers guidelines to help ensure a safe sleeping environment for infants.
This guest post is by Sam R. Watson, senior vice president, Patient Safety and Quality at the Michigan Health & Hospital Association and executive director of the MHA Keystone Center.
Photo credit: Your Alter Ego (Angelica Lasala)