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Pass Along to Parents: the ABCs of Safe Sleep

October 13, 2019

October 6-12 is observed as Infant Safe Sleep Week, but MNAAP’s Child Safety Work Group is reminding members that pediatricians play a role every day in helping parents understand the importance of safe sleep.

An analysis by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) found that of the 90 sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUIDs) in 2016 and 2017, 82% or 74 were sleep-related and happened in unsafe sleep environments.

MDH is encouraging hospitals and providers to raise awareness and train staff to make sure parents know the ABCs of safe sleep:

  • ALONE: Infants should always sleep or nap alone.
  • BACK: Always put a baby on their back to sleep or nap.
  • CRIB: Babies should always sleep or nap in their own safety-approved crib or play yard without blankets or pillows.

In Minnesota, Hennepin Healthcare is the first hospital to achieve gold level National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification by maintaining a safe sleep policy, annually training staff, auditing progress, using sleep sacks instead of blankets and providing education to parents prior to discharge.

MDH offers safe sleep resources, including information on financial assistance for portable cribs, safe sleep campaign materials, and information sheets in several languages.

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