Recent Infant Deaths Emphasize Safe Sleeping Practices
May 1, 2015
Pediatricians at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt have seen four infant deaths from unsafe sleeping habits in the last seven weeks. Infant sleep-related deaths are heartwrenching tragedies that can be preventable when safe sleeping practices are followed.
“Our deepest sympathies to the parents and loved ones in these heartbreaking and tragic deaths,” said Tennessee Department of Health commissioner John Dreyzehner, M.D., MPH. “This can and we know tragically does happen to anyone; that is why it is critical for everyone who will be involved in caring for a new baby to practice safe sleeping habits. Co-sleeping is dangerous; it is obviously not fatal every time, but sadly it only takes once."
According to the Tennessee Department of Health, in 2012 and 2013, there were a total of 238 sleep-related infant deaths.
"The loss for these families is unimaginable and the deaths don’t always happen at home. We encourage families to make sure anyone caring for their baby knows and practices safe sleep also," said Kate Carlson, M.D., assistant professor of Pediatrics and medical director of the Primary Care Clinic at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.
Follow these ABC’s of safe sleep.
B is for Back - Always place babies on their back to sleep.
C is for Crib - Babies need their own safe space to sleep. Keep all loose objects, soft toys and bedding out of baby's sleep area.
Other steps to create a safe sleep environment for your baby include:
For more information about safe sleeping, visit childrenshospital.vanderbilt.org/safesleep