Gayle Anderson was live in Los Angeles for the beginning of the Safe Sleep For Baby Campaign. During the past three years, more than 200 infants under the age of 1 have died as a result of unsafe sleep practices in Los Angeles County. Gayle visits the Coroner to bust myths on the proper way to put your baby to sleep.
Gayle Anderson was live in Los Angeles for the beginning of the Safe Sleep For Baby Campaign. During the past three years, more than 200 infants under the age of 1 have died as a result of unsafe sleep practices in Los Angeles County. This includes babies accidentally smothered by bed sharing with adults, or suffocated by clutter, including toys and blankets in the sleeping area. Unsafe sleeping is the leading cause of preventable infant death in Los Angeles County.
To remedy this, the Inter-Agency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect (ICAN) and its 501(c)3 non-profit organization, ICAN Associates, have partnered with First 5 L.A. in a two-year Safe Sleep for Baby Campaign to save families from the preventable tragedy of losing their young infants due to unsafe sleeping practices. The goal of this partnership is to create a campaign that raises awareness of best practices for residents of L.A. County through compelling messages about the dangers of unsafe sleeping practices and offers safe sleep solutions for caregivers of infants up to 1 year of age.
Accidental suffocation poses the greatest risk for babies under the age of 1. These deaths are completely silent and quick– it takes just seconds for a baby to suffocate. Remember that babies are small, without voices and have no strength. In addition, for the first 3 to 4 months, they can only breathe through their nose, which has no cartilage and can flatten easily. Accidental suffocation can occur while babies are sleeping:
- in a bed with parents or on the couch
- in a crib cluttered with pillows, toys, bumper pads, blankets and stuffed animals
- on their side or stomach
- on couches, chairs or other soft surfaces
In addition, it is NOT safe to place a baby to sleep in a car seat or stroller because of the way the baby is positioned in these carriers. Babies should always be placed on their back to sleep. This is the only way to help make sure their mouth and nose remain unblocked so they can breathe properly. Slings are also NOT safe for babies because they could block a baby’s mouth or nose just as blankets and pillows in a crib or bassinet could block a baby’s airway.
Babies need to be kept safe at all times, even while they sleep!
Here are the recommended safe sleeping practices for your baby:
- Back to sleep for every sleep. Parents and caregivers should always place infants on their backs for naps and at night.
- Place babies to sleep on a firm surface. A crib, bassinet or portable crib/playpen with a firm mattress is recommended.
- Keep your baby’s sleep area close to, but separate from, where you and others sleep. Room sharing without bed-sharing is recommended.
- Keep soft objects and loose bedding out of the crib to reduce the risk of SIDS and suffocation. Soft objects, such as pillows and pillow-like toys, blankets, and bumper pads should be kept out of a baby’s sleeping environment.
- Breastfeeding is recommended, as it is associated with a reduced risk of SIDS.
Be careful about breastfeeding in bed or any situation where you may fall asleep with your baby while breastfeeding. Always place the baby back in his or her crib or bassinet once breast feeding is done.
- Regulate temperatures never allowing your babies to get overheated. Heavy blankets and warm rooms are NOT recommended for babies as each might lead to the overheating of the baby. The area where the baby sleeps should be well-ventilated at a temperature that is comfortable to a lightly clothed adult. Swaddling is safe when a baby is small, but be sure to use a light receiving blanket made with natural fibers.
- Supervised, awake “tummy time” is recommended. Although babies should always be placed to sleep on their backs for naps and at night, supervised, awake “tummy time” is recommended on a daily basis.
“Safe Sleep for Baby” Campaign
4024 North Durfee Avenue
El Monte, CA 91732
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