Taking Action Consumer Alert: SIDS & Curbing Infant Deaths in Alabama

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Each year, 4,000 infants die suddenly. Half of those deaths are due to SIDS, also known as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Now, there’s new startling data that shows Alabama’s infant mortality rate is increasing. This sent mom-to-be WHNT News 19’s Carrie Marchese in search of ways to protect her baby boy, due in May.

SIDS is defined as deaths in infants less than 1 year of age that occur suddenly and unexpectedly, and whose causes of death are not immediately obvious prior to investigation.  SIDS is the leading cause of death among infants aged 1–12 months, and is the third leading cause overall of infant mortality in the United States, according to CDC.gov.

The American Academy of Pediatrics issued new recommendations in 2011 in regards to infant sleep clothing, bedding, bumper pads and similar products. These are the findings of the Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Now, the State of Alabama has a new plan to improve babies’ health and to cut our infant mortality rate.  The Alabama Department of Public Health’s Center for Health Statistics shows infant mortality rates increased in 2012, the last year for which they offered data.  The rate was 8.9 per 1,000 live births.  Read more on Infant Mortality in Alabama.

To combat that statistic, Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children and Madison Hospital are implementing a new Safe Sleep initiative.  Here are the ABC’s of how it works:

A – Alone: With No One and No Items in the Crib

  • NO Toys
  • NO Parents or Siblings
  • NO Extra Blankets
  • NO Animals
  • NO Pillows

 

B – Back: On Baby’s Back (Face Up)

  • NOT on Side
  • NOT on Tummy
  • NOT Propped up with Blankets, Cushions or Pillows

 

C – Crib:

  • NO Adult Bed
  • NO Couch or Sofa
  • NO Lounge Chair
  • NO Futon

 

In addition, the two hospitals will take these internal steps:

  • All nursing staff at Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children and Madison Hospital have received training on SIDS prevention and the use of specially designed HALO SleepSack Swaddles.
  • All babies of appropriate age (0-6 months) will use HALO SleepSacks while in the hospital. This includes newborns, NICU and the Pediatric floor and Pediatric ICU.
  • Education materials and instruction will be provided to parents and families on the importance of safe sleep/SIDS prevention and how to safely use the HALO SleepSacks.
  • All families with babies born at Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children and Madison Hospital will be given a sleep sack at no charge to take home. Additional sleep sacks are available for purchase through the hospital gift shops.

 

The Safe Sleep project is being funded for one year by the Huntsville Hospital Foundation and the March of Dimes.  It is set to begin in late March 2014.

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