A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Safety experts promote ABCs of safe sleep to curb instances of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Hundreds of babies die of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in the U.S. each year, and Kentucky safety experts are sharing valuable information to help prevent future tragedies.

Pam Darnall is president and CEO of Family and Children’s Place, which runs a local HANDS program. HANDS provides in-home support to new and expectant parents.

The risk of SIDS can be greatly reduced by always placing babies on their backs while sleeping. (Photo from Pixabay, via PNS)

“Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is the leading cause of death for babies between the ages of one month and one year,” Darnall states. And co-sleeping, that’s one of the high risk factors.”

Darnall says families should follow the ABCs of safe sleep: babies should sleep alone, on their back and in a clean and clear crib, without soft objects such as pillows, bumper pads, or stuffed animals.

And she warns, “Never hang a pacifier around the baby’s neck, never smoke around the baby and always make sure that babies are sleeping on their back and never on their stomach or side. It’s really critical.”

HANDS provides sleep safety resources to caregivers and parents, and Darnall says the organization can also provide portable cribs to families who do not have a safe place for babies to sleep.

October is SIDS Awareness Month.

Darnall notes babies should have a medical home for routine wellness visits.

“That medical provider is there and building a relationship with that parent so that the parent can ask questions,” she states. β€œOr hopefully that medical provider can maybe see some signs that might be concerning and they can get out in front of that before it turns into another problem.”

Parents and caregivers can learn more about safe sleep practices at safesleepky.com and about local HANDS programs at kyhands.com.

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