September is Infant Safe Sleep Awareness Month
Governor Gretchen Whitmer has declared September 2019 as Infant Safe Sleep Awareness Month in Michigan to highlight the importance of preventing sleep-related infant deaths. A baby in Michigan dies nearly every other day due to sleeping in an unsafe sleep environment – that’s over 140 babies every year.
To prevent a tragedy and protect babies, the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines should be followed during nightly sleep and naps:
- Always place baby on the back for every sleep time.
- Baby should sleep in his or her own crib, bassinet or pack-n-play.
- Room share instead of bed share. Pull the crib, bassinet or pack-n-play next to the adult bed for quick and easy feeding and comforting.
- Use a firm mattress, covered with only a tightly-fitted sheet.
- Keep items out of baby’s sleep area – no blankets, bumpers, stuffed animals, etc. Use a sleep sack if baby is cold.
- If baby falls asleep in any place other than a crib, bassinet or pack-n-play, including after feeding, move him or her to a safe sleep space.
- Keep baby’s space smoke-free.
- Breastfeeding is encouraged as it is associated with reduced infant deaths.
- Encourage “tummy time”; it’s important to practice supervised tummy time while baby is awake to build strong neck and shoulder muscles.
- Make sure everyone caring for baby knows how to keep baby safe while sleeping, including babysitters, friends and family members.
Please share this information with the parents and caregivers of babies in your life and with professionals that you know who work with families. There are a number of resources available:
- Free educational materials, including brochures, posters, decals and DVDs, can be accessed at: www.healthymichigan.com.
- Free online training on infant safe sleep is available at: https://courses.mihealth.org/
PUBLIC/home.html. Continuing education is available for nurses and social workers.
- Data, statewide and for select counties, is available at: www.keepingkidsalive.org/data-
- Infant Health Unit staff are available to provide trainings and assistance as needed. Please contact Colleen Nelson, Infant Safe Sleep Program Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 517-335-1954.
For more information, please visit www.michigan.gov/safesleep.