Effort part of ‘Safe Sleep Program’ for newborns
Last month, staff at the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital outfitted infant rooms with “sleep sacks” to protect newborns from Sudden Unexpected Infant Death or SUID. The effort further establishes UMHS as one of the top hospitals in the country in terms of sleep safety in children’s hospitals.
The sleep sack was developed in the early 90’s by Bill Schmid after he lost an infant daughter to SIDS. The simple tool is meant to replace loose blankets in a crib. The child can wear the sack with or without clothing underneath and it also comes with a swaddle option so parents can use the sack instead of blankets to swaddle. Blanket can become loose and allow the infant to wiggle down under them.
Halo Sleep partners with hospitals to provide sleep sacks to be used for in-patient infants. In addition to protecting infants at VVWH and Mott Children’s Hospital, using sleep sacks will educate parents and allow them to model this behavior at home. Hospitals are essential in educating new parents on safe sleep for their infant.
The diagnosis of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is given when an infant dies suddenly and unexpectedly during sleep. Over the past ten years, there has been a national effort to improve the quality of death scene investigations in these types of cases. Because of these investigations, better information is now available on the circumstances surrounding these deaths, including the infant’s sleep environment, and these deaths that may have been previously labeled SIDS are now often labeled as asphyxia due to sleep environment.
According to the CDC, from 2000-2009 1,160 infants died from suffocating in an unsafe sleep environment in the U.S., a 30% increase over previous years. These unsafe sleep practices may include a baby placed face-down on a blanket, toys/pillows/blankets in crib, baby sleeping on an adult bed, or co-sleeping with a caregiver.
In Michigan alone, nearly 150 babies died last year due to suffocation from unsafe sleep environments.