Ohio AAP Promotes Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Awareness Month

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Efforts will focus on raising awareness and educating parents and caregivers about safe sleep practices and environments.

“Despite the success of the Back to Sleep Campaign, sleep related infant deaths are still the leading cause of death for infants between 1 month and 12 months of age.

Earlier this year, the General Assembly passed Senate Bill 198, sponsored by Senators Jones and Tavares, declaring October Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month in Ohio. The Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (Ohio AAP, http://www.ohioaap.org), along with their partners, want educate parents and caregivers about the risks associated with SIDS and how to keep their infant children safe while sleeping.

“Despite the success of the Back to Sleep Campaign, sleep related infant deaths are still the leading cause of death for infants between 1 month and 12 months of age. In Ohio alone, 3 babies die each week from sleep related deaths, contributing to our state ranking of 47th in the nation for infant mortality,” said Sarah Denny, pediatrician in the Emergency Department at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Co-chair of the Ohio AAP Injury Prevention Committee. “The Ohio AAP is partnering with hospitals, pediatricians and other organizations to raise awareness and provide education to help improve these statistics.”

Ohio AAP’s Safe Sleep Initiatives promote the updated safe sleep guidelines released by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2011, which clearly define safe sleep practices and what a safe sleep environment looks like.

According to the ABCs of Safe Sleep, babies sleep safest:

  •     Alone. Cuddling with the baby during feeding time and waking hours best develops closeness. At bedtime, room-sharing is great. A baby-safe crib placed next to the bed allows the baby to be close and still have a safe place to sleep. Parents will sleep better knowing their baby is safe too!
  •     On their Backs. Always place babies to sleep on their backs during naps and at nighttime. Because babies sleeping on their sides are more likely to accidentally roll onto their stomach, the side position is just as dangerous as the stomach position.
  •     In a Crib. Place babies on a firm mattress, covered by a fitted sheet that meets current safety standards. The crib or bassinet should be free from toys, soft bedding, blankets, and pillows. Sleep clothing, such as sleepers, sleep sacks, and wearable blankets are better alternatives to blankets.

For more information and materials on safe sleep and Ohio AAP’s Safe Sleep Initiatives, visit our website at http://www.ohioaap.org/safesleep.

The Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (Ohio AAP) promotes the health, safety and well being of children and adolescents so they may reach their full potential. The Ohio AAP works to accomplish this by addressing the needs of children, their families, and their communities, and by supporting Chapter members through advocacy, education, research, service, and improving the systems through which they deliver pediatric care.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Jill Buterbaugh, 614/326-9054, jill(at)krilecommunications.com

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Jill Buterbaugh
Krile Communications
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