SIDS Awareness Month campaign emphasizes safe sleep for babies

To help reduce the risk of SIDS pediatricians recommends always placing your baby on its back...
To help reduce the risk of SIDS pediatricians recommends always placing your baby on its back when sleeping and not having any loose blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, or crib bumpers next to your child / Source: CNN
Published: Oct. 25, 2023 at 5:05 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) -The Alabama Department of Public Health launched a new campaign as part of SIDS Awareness Month to ensure your babies sleep safely. And it’s asking you to take the #ClearTheCrib #SafeSleepAL challenge.

Sleep-related infant deaths are still a major problem in Alabama. Of the 443 babies that tragically died in 2021, 101 are counted as Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths (SUIDs). SUIDs include deaths with the following causes listed on the death certificate: sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), accidental suffocation or strangulation in bed, and undetermined.

Sudden infant death syndrome is the sudden death of a baby younger than one year of age that does not have a known cause, even after a full investigation. “There’s been a shift away from talking about SIDS and instead talking about Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID),” explains State Perinatal Division Director Carolyn Miller. Many of the deaths classified as undetermined occur in an unsafe sleep environment, even though they are not documented as SIDS. Creating a safe sleep environment for infants could significantly decrease the prevalence of sleep-related infant deaths.

So ADPH is using this month to promote the ABCs of safe sleep- put babies down Alone, on their Back, in a Crib.

To help highlight and clarify what a safe, clear crib environment looks like, ADPH is promoting the National Institute of Health’s Safe to Sleep® #ClearTheCrib challenge. This social media challenge is a fun and engaging way to highlight the importance of a clear crib to reduce the risk of suffocation and other SUIDs. All pillows, loose blankets, bumper pads, stuffed animals, and even baby hats should be removed from a crib for a baby to sleep safely. To successfully “Clear the Crib,” participants must remove all unsafe items from a cluttered crib and ensure that the doll representing the baby is safely positioned. This is a timed challenge.

”The intention is to have fun while spreading the word on keeping babies safe,” explains Miller. Infants statewide need you to help spread awareness by joining the #ClearTheCrib #SafeSleepAL challenge. ADPH invites you to be creative and use your platforms to educate communities about safe sleep for infants. Make sure to include the tags #ClearTheCrib and #SafeSleepAL.

For more information, click here. If you cannot afford a safe place for your infant to sleep, click here.

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